Stetski lays out UBCM agenda

Cranbrook mayor and three councillors heading to annual week-long meeting between municipal and provincial officials.

There is lots of policy ground to cover as Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski and a few councillors head to a convention of municipal and provincial officials next week in Whistler.

Stetski will be joined by city councillors in Sharon Cross, Gerry Warner and Diana J. Scott as they meet with provincial ministers at an annual meeting of  the Union of British Columbia Municipalities over the week to discuss local and province-wide matters.

Stetski has arranged to meet with a number of government ministers to discuss issues ranging from emergency shelters to urban deer.

One topic that will be on the forefront of the minds of many mayors across the province is addressing the costs of running municipal government.

“The major topic of what I want to talk about is fair funding for municipalities,” said Stetski. “As I’ve said many times, you take one dollar in taxes and 50 cents is heading to the federal government, 42 cents is going to the province, and 8 cents to municipalities.

“It’s not sustainable in the long run, we can’t continue to have property taxes and local fees and licenses as a way to finance local government.”

UBCM presented a policy paper last year—Strong Fiscal Futures: A Blueprint For Strengthening B.C. Local Governments’ Finance System—which the provincial government has refused to meet on, according to Stetski.

The report detailed a number of initiatives based off of five key principles. Some of the proposed changes include renewing the gas tax with the federal government, establishing a UBCM/Provincial management committee to oversee consultation and delivery of shared mandates, development of an infrastructure and community development bank and sharing of the pie when the provincial economy grows.

“There’s a lot of frustration right now among UBCM that the government hasn’t even agreed to take the time to meet and talk about the proposal that UBCM has put forward,” Stetski said.

Stetski also hopes to bring up the revised plan for the Salvation Army transition centre with Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for B.C. Housing. The latest update on the centre is a revised plan that is $10 million cheaper than the one they talked about last year, according to Stetski.

Always a controversial issue is the subject of urban deer, and Stetski is hoping to connect with Steve Thompson, Minister of of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations to brainstorm new ideas.

“Last year I had arranged a meeting with the Premier and the minister to talk about this and I was joined by a number of mayors around B.C.,” Stetski said. “Basically we’re making progress, but I want to make sure the ministry is still on side with that progress, which is potentially to try some translocation, site-to-site translocation of deer.”

Stetski is part of a mayor’s council for communities on Highway 3 spanning from Hope to Sparwood, and that council is hoping to meet with Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, to address some issues with the highway.

“The committee helps government decide where to spend money on Highway 3, based on the recommendations that we make,” Stetski said. “So there’s the physical improvements, but I also want to talk about marketing and promoting Highway 3 through British Columbia.

“Also, I would like to see the ministry come up with a standard for Highway 3 in terms of—over time and it would take a period of time—trying to ensure that there are safe passing lanes added to the highway every X number of kilometres.”

There’s also a meeting planned with the Minister of Agriculture to talk about support for the greenhouse industry in Cranbrook, Stetski added.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.
Covid identified at Cranbrook Montessori

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.… Continue reading

The 2020 Wasa Triathlon was cancelled. Above, the bike portion of the 2019 event. Bulletin file
Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon committee is going ahead with planning 2021 event

Lots of uncertainty, but the committee has decided its too early to cancel

Bootleg Gap Golf Course has been sold to Simkins Golf Management Inc. for $3 million.
Bootleg Gap Golf Course sold to Simkins Golf Management for $3 million

After the decision was made to sell back in October 2019, Council… Continue reading

Dorothy Kilgallen, circa 1952 (irishamerica.com)
Booknotes: Fearless reporter among the greatest of all time

Mike Selby “Success has not changed Frank Sinatra,” wrote journalist Dorothy Kilgallen… Continue reading

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Interior Health says Salmo’s COVID-19 cases have been contained. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Interior Health: Salmo’s COVID-19 cases are contained

Every person who tested positive has recovered

Most Read