Striking a Balance – Council discusses speed, alcohol, etc. at UBCM

Susan Swan's weekly column of community news and events in Clinton.

The mayors, councillors, and CAOs of most BC municipalities as well as Regional Directors, and some First Nations representatives will spend  this week at the annual Union of BC Municipalities Convention.

The UBCM advocates for, represents and serves all local governments in BC through policy development and implementation, Government relations, communications and liaison with other groups

The annual convention is the UBCM Annual General Meeting and is also where resolutions that have been put forward by different local governments are voted on by the membership. Those resolutions that are endorsed by the members are then acted on by the UBCM Executive. They advocate to the provincial government on behalf of the local governments and the FCM, which is the body that advocates to the Federal Government. This year there are over 150 resolutions to be dealt with.

Clinton’s Resolutions

The Village of Clinton had two resolutions endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association (the first step in getting a resolution on the floor at UBCM). One resolution deals with Communities in Bloom and asks the Province to maintain or increase the funding to the program. The second resolution deals with leases between local governments and the Province and requests that UBCM works with the province to produce lease agreements that are fair to both parties.

The UBCM Convention also allows local governments to make appointments with specific Provincial Ministers to bring concerns and causes directly to the appropriate Minister.

Meeting with Ministers

This year the Village of Clinton requested and was granted meetings with three Ministers. They will meet with Minister Coralee Oakes, the Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development. The issue to be discussed is that Villages are expected to complete Official Community Plans (OCP) every five years and the costs associated with these place a financial burden on the community. Funding support is required.

The second meeting request was to The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Suzanne Anton who is responsible for the liquor distribution in the province. The topic of concern is the changes that allow the transfer of liquor licenses from one location to another. The Village of Clinton is concerned that there is already one business in Clinton that has sold and no action taken with the property. It is anticipated that the business was sold to have the liquor license transferred to another location. The removal of the liquor license has a large impact on the community economic status. The Village is requesting assurance that the intent of the changes to the Liquor License Regulations was not to have the local liquor permits be moved to larger centers as this has a large impact on the smaller rural communities.

The final meeting requested and granted is with Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. There are several points to discuss with Minister Stone but the three main ones include the MoTI Pilot Project whereby they propose removing the 70-km. transition zone at the entrances to the Village. The speed limit would go from 100 km/hr directly to 50 with no transition zone. The council has had numerous meetings and discussions with representatives of the MoTH for well over a year with no resolution. The Village would like the 50 km/hr signage moved further out from the Ministry’s recommendations. They are also looking for support for their request related to how the measurement of success will be determined for this project and how changes will be implemented should there be a need for change. The third request is for the MoTH to cover the cost for changes required to deal with the Tingley Street freshet issues that sees parts of Tingley Street flooded each spring.

Throughout the week of UBCM there are numerous studies, workshops, clinics, etc. to keep delegates busy. It is an exhausting week but well worth the time and money it cost to send your representatives as they bring back so much information and they get the chance to advocate for things that will impact the future of your community.

Susan Swan

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