Local politicians to unite at provincial convention

East Kootenay local government officials head to Victoria

Local government elected officials are gearing up for the most important week of the year for the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention.

Held in Victoria from September 24 to 28, UBCM brings together 1500 delegates from every regional district and municipality in B.C. for a series of workshops, keynote speeches and resolution sessions.

Heath Slee, Director of Area B in the Regional District of East Kootenay, has spent the past year as president of UBCM.

Slee said the convention is vital because it gives mayors, councillors and regional directors the chance to have their communities’ concerns heard by provincial politicians.

“This is the time when delegates do a lot of their lobbying and arrange meetings with the various provincial ministries on a variety of topics, whichever are front and centre in their community,” said Slee.

The elected officials will discuss and vote on 205 resolutions on issues relevant across B.C. Those resolutions include a vote on decriminalisation of marijuana, asking provincial and federal governments for improved cellular coverage in rural areas, an appeal for more funding for wildfire prevention, and a request that local governments share in revenue from natural resources.

Each of these resolutions will be hotly debated by the delegates during the UBCM convention, Slee said.

Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, who was appointed Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development last week, will join other ministers and the premier to make keynote speeches at UBCM. Slee said that having our local MLA as the minister responsible for local government is an advantage for the East Kootenay.

“We are pleased to have Bill Bennett back in this ministry. It’s very significant for our communities, especially rural communities. He has a good understanding of the challenges that we have in providing services,” Slee said.

“It’s very helpful that Bill has past experience in that ministry.”

After 12 months as president of UBCM, Slee said he has a more in-depth understanding of the issues facing different communities in B.C.

“In my experience in the past year, throughout the province I think our issues are very similar to what other communities are experiencing,” he said.

That’s why UBCM is so important, he went on.

“We represent 100 per cent of the communities in the province. We have the research people that can delve into a problem and come up with all the accurate facts on what may be taking place,” said Slee.

Just Posted

The shootout at the Bechtel Ferry: 1945

On August 24, 1945, Charles Bechtel, age 66, was killed by the BC Provincial Police just south of the ranch.

A Bright Idea: Studio Arts students’ exhibition

Mount Baker Secondary School Visual Arts students’ hosted their end of semester art show Jan. 17

Hospice seeks clients for Live & Learn Program

After a successful two-year trial period, the Cranbrook and Kimberley Hospice Society is renewing its Live and Learn day program, and is putting out the word to prospective clients.

Cranbrook, Kimberley mayors discuss local issues at business event

Mayor Lee Pratt and Mayor Don McCormick sound off on economic development, housing, and wildfires

Shades of Green Ladies Bonspiel to make you believe

The annual event is looking for teams to compete in the “it’s only make believe,” themed bonspiel.

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Five steps for examining our lives

Rev. Yme Woensdregt The last few weeks, I’ve written some columns about… Continue reading

High court ruling allows long-term expats to vote in byelections across Canada

Supreme Court decision enfranchised an estimated one million or more Canadian expats to be able to vote

B.C. university students dumpster dive to shed light on food waste

Eating only from dumpsters, the students hope to raise money for food banks in Northern Canada

Missing B.C. boy and aunt found safe

The pair had been reported missing from Kamloops

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

The debate over how to teach math in B.C.

Tutoring businesses growing with concerns

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Most Read