The four-day 2023 Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) conference and annual general meeting kicked off on Tuesday, as delegates gathered to discuss key issues surrounding their local communities. Vernon is hosting the conference for the first time in many years.
Wednesday afternoon featured resolution discussions, where 31 were brought up to be considered. Just two ended up being defeated.
The Rural BC Building Code resolution was defeated. Brought forward by the District of Lillooet, it looked at requesting the B.C. government to create a separate rural and remote building code, with less strict restrictions. This was defeated, as many felt would confuse, with two separate building codes then introduced.
The Public Hearing Notice Requirements was also defeated. This asked the B.C. government to amend the Local Government Act by deleting section s. 467 in its entirety. The section states that if a local government decides not to hold a public hearing on a proposed zoning bylaw, it must give notice in accordance with this section.
Among the notable resolutions that were passed include the Commercial Semi Truck Dash Cams, sponsored by Barriere. This resolution, passed unanimously, looked at asking the provincial government to review the feasibility of requiring all commercial semi-trucks to have dash cams installed and in operation while driving within the province.
The Riparian Areas Protection Regulation Compliance was passed in a close 56 to 50 vote. This resolution asked the province for the authority to accept and review qualified environmental professional reports from within its own jurisdiction.
Additionally, the Trans Canada Highway Improvements was passed. It requests the province initiate projects currently identified in the 2021 Highway 1-Kamloops to Alberta-Four-Laning plan to improve the safety, reliability and capacity of the highway. Currently, several projects identified in the plan have not begun, which is causing significant public safety concerns.
The City of Kelowna and Kamloops were able to get their sponsored resolution on Investment in Mental Health and Substance Use Recovery passed. It requests the province to increase investments into ‘on demand’ mental health treatment, withdrawal management and substance use programs along with updating A Pathway to Hope strategy that includes a plan to fully fund and establish regional campuses of care.
Resolutions approved will go to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) meeting, taking place in Vancouver in September.
SILGA is comprised of elected officials from 37 cities, towns, villages, districts and regional districts in south central British Columbia. It is one of five area associations of local governments within British Columbia. All operate under the umbrella of UBCM.
Here is the full list of the resolutions (including which community it came from):
HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
1. Investment in Mental Health and Substance Use Recovery - Kamloops and Kelowna
2. Primary Care Clinic Funding - Okanagan-Similkameen
3. Increasing Rural Health Center Autonomy - Logan Lake
4. Resolve Health Care Shortages in Rural Communities - Merritt
5. Funding for Rural and Remote Volunteer Fire Department First Responder Programs - Okanagan-Similkameen
6. Transitional Housing with Supports - Kamloops and Kelowna
7. Short-Term Vacation Rental Listing Platforms - Revelstoke
8. Rural BC Building Code - Lillooet
9. 1.0 Hectare Policy/Guidelines - Okanagan-Similkameen
10. Provincial Matching of Local Government Land Investments in Affordable Housing - Penticton
11. Cannabis Control and Licensing Act - Okanagan-Similkameen
12. Rural Fire Department Compensation for Attendance at Traffic Incidents - Okanagan-Similkameen
13. FireSmart and Wildfire Mitigation Funding - West Kelowna
14. Commercial Semi Truck Dash Cam - Barriere
15. Recycle BC Stewardship Plan Proposed Community Eligibility Criteria - Columbia Shuswap
16. Invasive Species – Amendment to the Weed Control Act - Okanagan-Similkameen
17. Water Sustainability Act - Lake Country
18. Greater Enforcement for Provincial Invasive Mussel Defence Program - Sicamous
19. Riparian Areas Protection Regulation Compliance - Sicamous
20. Protection of Trees - Okanagan-Similkameen
21. Provincial Government Funding - Oliver
22. Senior Levels of Government – Oversubscribed Funding - Summerland
23. BC Hydro Beautification Grant - Lake Country
24. Agricultural Land Commission Expansion of Non-Farm Usage on Farmlands - Okanagan-Similkameen
25. Jurisdiction of Surface Rights Board of British Columbia - Squamish-Lillooet
26. BC Transit Share of Expenses on Rural Routes - Okanagan-Similkameen
27. Trans-Canada Highway Improvements - Sicamous
28. Improved Information Sharing Between Local Governments and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure - Squamish-Lillooet
29. Fuel Pricing - Revelstoke
30. Public Hearing Notice Requirements - Okanagan-Similkameen
COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
31. Expediting Forestry Approvals - Merritt