Last week, your city council attended the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Vancouver.
This annual meeting brings together B.C. mayors, councilors, electoral area directors and senior staff for an opportunity to engage with provincial ministers, MLA’s and each other for a week to discuss issues important to our taxpayers.
It was a very busy week.
In addition to resolutions, seminars, formal networking and informal sharing of ideas, we had four ministerial meetings (Transportation/Infrastructure, Forest Lands and Natural Resources, Public Safety/ Solicitor General, Agriculture ). We also had four additional meetings with staff from BC Housing and Municipal Affairs.
We discussed many issues important to our regions such as red light cameras, provincial policing resources (no increase in provincial regional officers in more than 10 years ), recreational grant funding opportunities and ideas, our local housing initiatives and infrastructure and safety improvements for Highway 1 and Highway 97.
Your team was well prepared, well organized and communicated our local issues clearly and effectively. I believe our strategic goals were achieved in all our meetings.
Personally, my favorite part of the convention was the keynote speaker, Peter Mansbridge. He shared some specific life experiences as examples of why he is so proud to be Canadian. His pride in our country, through very different international eyes and situations, was clear and unabashed. He reminded us all of how proud we should be in our amazing country. Anyone who watches him regularly knows he is a compassionate and caring storyteller with so much to share.
Mansbridge also stated he is very concerned with the polarizing and negative state of party politics, provincially, federally and within the U.S. and U.K. He feels the purest and most representative and effective government is local government, without parties or slates. He is concerned that the real issues are ignored and forgotten as parties fight on ideological and personal grounds. He feels that ideological party politics is threatening our democracy.
In summary, UBCM was productive for our city and region. Your council team thanks your for the opportunity to take your/our message to senior levels of government.
Kevin Flynn is a councillor with the City of Salmon Arm.