Mayor, select councillors off to UBCM

Municipal politicians from across the province to convene for annual conference next week in Vancouver.

Once a year, municipal politicians from across B.C. have a chance to meet and interact with officials at the provincial and federal level.

That event, under the umbrella of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, will get underway next week in Vancouver,

Representing Cranbrook at the convention will be Mayor Lee Pratt, Councillors Ron Popoff and Tom Shypitka, along with CAO Wayne Staudt. RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay, along with a few other Area directors, will be attending as well.

The convention is a great chance to network with politicians at all levels of government, said Pratt.

For Cranbrook, there are a few issues he would like to bring forward.

“As far as Cranbrook goes, we have some concerns with our forest sector. Of course, the closing of the Canal Flats Mill adds to that too,” Pratt said.

“We’ve got that, personally I want to see the laundry services stay here and possibly some of the other IHA moved here. We’re looking for jobs, of course, so why are we taking them out of here?”

The benefit of gathering municipal delegates together is the chance to bring common themes and challenges to provincial and federal counterparts, he added.

“One thing on the agenda will be taxation and the way governments, federal and provincial, keep downloading to municipalities,” Pratt continued. “That’s definitely an issue, because money is getting tighter for everybody and they just keep downloading onto us, so that’s one of the major issues that I know of.”