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Province usurping local government's autonomy?

The province is looking into instituting a municipal auditor general – and not everyone who will be affected is sure this will be a good thing.

The Union of BC Municipalities sent letters to their members saying the province did not invite them to take part in focus groups that were conducted in June.

"Instead," stated the letter, "UBCM was invited to provide names of participants for two local government only focus groups in early July. However, as there was little lead-time available to organize these sessions, Executive has proposed an alternative consultation session in conjunction with our Executive meeting on July 22."

Columbia Shuswap Regional District Chief Administrative Officer Charles Hamilton told directors he sees the move as a “significant policy initiative,” which “raises questions about the autonomy of local government.”

Salmon Arm Director Kevin Flynn told the board he would be meeting with Minister of Community, Sport and Development Ida Chong.

Flynn, who is on the UBCM Board, said the UBCM had a two-hour meeting slated with Chong and he was sure this item would be at the top of the agenda.

Flynn reiterated the concern that they have had “virtually no involvement” in the province’s implementation of things such as ‘value-for-money auditing’ as well as looking into shared services.

“In my opinion, it’s a move to limit our autonomy... We should be concerned.”

 

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