Annual Gathering Of Municipal Politicians Goes This Week
Victoria, BC – More than 1800 municipal politicians from across the province are in Victoria this week for the 2016 Union of BC Municipalities annual convention…
This year’s convention will touch on everything from tent cities and homelessness; to gang violence in communities; to a special plenary session on drug-related overdoses, featuring BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr Perry Kendal and the Executive Director for the BC Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Mark Tyndall.
Premier Christy Clark is scheduled to give her annual address on Wednesday, with the election of the UBCM’s new Executive to take place on Thursday afternoon. Local City Councillor Murry Krause is in the running for President and could win by acclamation, if no one steps forward during Thursday morning’s ‘Nomination from the Floor’. (click here, for previous story)
Also vying for a spot on the Executive from northern BC are: Councillors Phil Brienesse from Smithers and Councillor Brian Frenkel from Vanderhoof, both running for Directors at Large, Stewart Mayor Galina Durant for Small Community Representative, and Fraser-Fort George Regional District Chair Art Kaehn for Electoral Area Representative.
The City of Prince George came up with four resolutions for policy debate at this year’s UBCM gathering:
- a call for the provincial government to restore community charitable gaming grants to 2008-2009 funding levels, re-implement a three-year grant funding model to offer non-profits stability, and increase gaming grants proportionally to increases in gaming revenue,
- a call for a poverty reduction plan,
- a call on the BC Goverment to urge Ottawa to include local governments in the equation when establishing a federal marijuana tax fund, and
- a call for a community-based agricultural extension program that would support new, prospective, and existing farmers.
In a report to Council at its September 12th meeting, Councillor Brian Skakun advised the UBCM’s Resolution Committee had referred the marijuana tax fund resolution to a similar suggestion from the City of Duncan, which is proposing a federal/provincial/territorial task force be struck to design a ‘new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution with federal and provincial excise taxes applied’. The resolution also calls for a portion of any of those taxes collected to be shared with local governments.
Discussion and debate on the resolutions begins on Wednesday morning.