Williams Lake Represented at UBCM Convention
City of Williams Lake Council attended the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Vancouver the week of September 23, 2019. The Convention provides an important opportunity for local government officials and staff to network, debate resolutions for submission to the provincial government and to meet directly with the Premier and Ministers or Ministry staff to discuss priorities for the City and community.
“There is a lot of work that goes into preparing to attend the UBCM Convention; we work really hard to meet with as many Ministers or staff as possible and have direct discussions about issues important to our community and how they are supporting us,” said Mayor Walt Cobb.
The City submitted a resolution to address the current method of crime statistics reporting that often results in artificially inflated crime statistics based on attributing criminal activity to the municipal boundary, rather than taking into consideration the larger boundary that the City services. This affects the City and many communities with a similar population base; this resolution was endorsed during the resolution session. Mayor Cobb noted that the City had many successful and productive meetings with Ministers and staff. Of note was a meeting with the Honourable David Eby, Attorney General, relating to both the City’s UBCM-endorsed crime statistics resolution and the City’s recently adopted 6-point action plan on crime, with positive follow-up planned for the near future.
Two items affecting northern British Columbia communities came to the forefront during the week. The Province’s decision to suspend the current Rural Dividend Fund to reallocate those funds to an emergency forest worker relief fund was discussed at length. This decision affects a number of communities that rely on the Rural Dividend program to fund major projects, including Williams Lake, and will cause some disruption to plans already underway that rely on the funding.
The Interior’s voice came through loud and clear when approximately 400 logging trucks descended upon Vancouver’s downtown core to emphasize the impact that mill closures and curtailments have had on interior communities. “I was so proud of these independent truckers coming all the way down to Vancouver on their own dime to let the government and Premier know that the forest industry is very important to northern BC,” stated Mayor Walt Cobb. “When I looked back up the street, I think I saw 90% of the UBCM attendees standing there cheering and waving on these loggers as they drove by. I'm not sure who was left inside the Convention but I bet you it wasn’t a lot of people.”
To read a list of all resolutions passed at UBCM and those referred for further deliberation visit: https://bit.ly/33d5RXW
Corporate Engagement Officer