The 2016 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention is focused on the theme “Stronger Together”. Standing together, from far and wide, each region still stands together. Each region has something unique to contribute to the growth and prosperity of BC and is integral to the success of this province.
The convention provides an opportunity for local governments across the province to debate, discuss and share ideas to help grow their communities and build a more prosperous future for all British Columbians.
District of Stewart Mayor Durant and Councillors Goulet, Lynn, and Rowe returned from the Union of BC Municipalities conference having secured support for resolutions on a selling a land for economically depressed communities below market value for their economic development. The major topic of discussion with our Ministries’ meetings was a Flood mitigation report and what we can do to reduce the flood risk for our town.
The District of Stewart requests assistance from the Ministry in the following points:
• to further address the Flood Mitigation Report from NW Hydraulic Consultants that highlights the rise in the groundwater table through town and a decline in the effectiveness of the dike;
• raising of Highway 37A due to drastically high levels and close proximity of the Bear River to the highway near Stewart, replacement of the culverts near Rainy Creeks, and replacement/improvement of the Bridge 1 (Bear River);
• requesting the Ministry’s support and also inquiring if there is a grant available for repairing of the Dike Road;
We stressed out the Province’s low-level of funding support for flood prevention initiative and emergency preparedness.
Other important issues have being discussed are local infrastructure, the great needs for additional funding to local governments, children and youth programs funding, and reduction of the red-tapes for economic development. We also supported Regional District advocacy to build new Memorial Hospital in Terrace and Resource Sharing Alliance initiative. MLA D. Donaldson attended some of our meetings to support our requests.
The Minister Fassbender announced that the District of Stewart is receiving a grant for Water System Infrastructure and water reservoir study. This study will be a base for multi-millions dollars grant application for our water system for future Mayor and Council.
The weeklong conference brings together municipal councils and regional district boards from local governments around the province to network, develop policy for advocating to the provincial government, meet with a variety of cabinet ministers and opposition critics, and attend workshops. This is a list of workshops and clinics from UBCM-2016 we attended:
Climate Action: Responsibilities, Opportunities and Solutions
Forest Policy Decision-Making: The Case for Greater Community Consultation
BC Mayors' Caucus
Reducing Liability Exposure for Local Governments
Small Talk Forum
BC Local Government's $200 Billion Infrastructure Challenge
Soil Movement: Contamination and Invasive Species
Collective Bargaining: The Cost of Safety
The Municipal Natural Assets Initiative
Panel on Strong Communities