For the month of October, I have the duty of acting mayor for Mayor Ron Toyota. I will be attending the Creston Lions Club 80th anniversary celebration dinner representing the Town of Creston on Oct. 26.
My choice of topic for this month’s column is my recent Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conference that Mayor Ron Toyota, Chief Administration Officer Mike Moore, Coun. Unruh, Comer, Elford, DeBoon and I attended Sept 23 – 27 in Vancouver at the Vancouver Convention Center.
What is UBCM? The Union of British Columbia Municipalities is the advocate for local government in British Columbia. Approximately 2,000 delegates from all over British Columbia attended.
The UBCM was formed to provide a common voice for local government and this role is as important today as it was 100 years ago. Convention continues to be the main forum for UBCM policy-making. It provides an opportunity for local governments of all sizes and from all areas of the province to come together, share their experiences and take a united position. Resolutions brought forward by municipalities throughout B.C. range from local government autonomy to climate change to speed limits, many of which received support from delegates.
Once the resolutions have been endorsed, it’s up to the province to respond and decide whether to implement the recommendations. Positions developed by members are carried to other orders of government and other organizations involved in local affairs.
Meetings ranged from wildfire efforts, housing, B.C. energy futures, emergency health services, building childcare/building strong communities, getting older adults active and connected plus many more.
Guest speakers included Peter Mansbridge, Hon. Selina Robinson Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing, Premier John Horgan to name a few.
At the community excellence awards ceremony Regional District of Central Kootenay Area A Director Adam Casemore accepted a $15,000 grant from FortisBC on behalf of the West Creston Fire Department.
In today’s ever-changing world, where shifts in senior government policies, or in economic, social or political conditions, can have an immediate effect on local government, UBCM stands as a “listening post”. UBCM initiates, monitors, interprets and reacts where such changes could have an effect on local governments and the communities they serve. The result is improved local government and BC’s communities are the real winners. Through the UBCM, the local government has achieved much, and the potential is always there to achieve even more. The UBCM Conference provides great networking with other councillors and the provincial government.