Local politicians head to Victoria for UBCM

All the politicians from Prince Rupert, Port Ed and the regional district are in Victoria this week attending the annual UBCM conference.

Where have all the politicians gone?

All the elected representatives from the City of Prince Rupert, Port Edward, the Skeen-Queen Charlotte Regional District and all their senior staff are all down in Victoria this week attending the annual meeting of Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM); a weeklong conference that allows local governments from across the province to come together and flex their political muscle as a group.

“Throughout the year it is the best opportunity for us to actually put forward our strategic priorities, to speak to people who are actually in a position to help us meet our priorities and our needs,” said councilor Anna Ashley.

The main event of sorts is the voting on resolutions that are submitted by individual communities.

This year Prince Rupert is introducing resolutions calling on the provincial and federal government to loosen the requirements on grant funding for infrastructure projects, to extend liability for marine accidents involving dangerous cargo (like bitumen) to both the carrier and seller of the cargo, that local governments’ tenders be exempted from the CETA free trade treaty with the European Union, and that the Joint Preparedness Emergency Plan and its funding be kept in place past 2013.

Port Edward wants the national repeat sexual offenders registry made public, and that federal infrastructure funding not be limited to public/private partnerships.

The regional district wants the provincial government to recognize the coastal ferries as part of the highway system.

If the other communities pass these resolutions, the UBCM will lobby the other levels of government to act on them in the upcoming year.

“It’s chance for us to speak to the resolutions that affect as all as a whole, because these are forwarded to the provincial government and it’s what they’ll be looking at when they formulate policy,” said Ashley.

The other big benefit of attending the UBCM conference is that it is typically well attended by provincial government and opposition politicians, including government ministers. This allows communities to schedule 15-minutes of face time with the person most able to fix a problem of theirs.

The regional district, for instance, has a meeting scheduled with premier Christy Clark and Environment Minister Terry Lake on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing problem of disposing of Japanese tsunami debris that has washed up and been collected on Haida Gwaii.

“We need a very firm commitment from the province that they are either going to remove this stuff or pay full price for the landfill tipping fees. I think we need to get that in place if we’re storing this debris for them,” Evan Putterill, the board member for Sandspit, said at their meeting on Friday.

 

 

 

Just Posted

City announces new emergency winter shelter location

The extreme weather shelter is located at 328 3rd Ave. St West and is expected to open this weekend

WEB POLL: What should the theme be for Seafest 2018?

Planning for Seafest 2018 has begun and the event’s organizers want to… Continue reading

The first snowfall of the season for Rupert

Environment Canada says the snow in Prince Rupert will change to rain later in the day

Sport Briefs

Here’s what’s going on in sports this weekend

Downtown location found for an emergency shelter

Prince Rupert mayor asks community to direct financial support to the North Coast Transition Society

A new husband-and-wife duo take the Salvation Army reins

Sabrina and Greg Silvey prepare for this year’s Christmas Hamper program in Prince Rupert

CONTEST: Send us your Hammy photos to win a free T-shirt

Submit your best Hammy the deer photo by Nov. 30 to be entered to win

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness to kick off season

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Most Read