The Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors had a busy and productive week at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Vancouver. Their time was filled with meetings with Ministers and ministry staff, debating resolutions and professional development sessions.
“I always walk away from UBCM tired but pleased with what we were able to accomplish. I thought our Minister and staff meetings went well and I’m happy our resolutions were well received,” stated CRD Chair Margo Wagner.
Wagner noted her other highlights were passing an emergency resolution brought forward by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary urging the government to reinstate the rural dividend fund and the logging truck convoy that arrived in Vancouver from B.C. interior communities.
“The statement made by the loggers from our communities was very impactful,” Wagner said. “Not only did the rally tie up traffic and make a loud presence, I think they really helped Lower Mainland residents realize what an impact the mill closures have on our communities. As the Premier said in his closing comments, Lower Mainland communities rely on the Interior for our resources and we need to work together to overcome these challenges.”
The Board submitted nine resolutions for endorsement by the UBCM membership. The first six passed, with the sixth seeing some amendments before approval. The final three resolutions were not voted on due to lack of time; they will be reviewed directly by the UBCM Executive.
The resolutions cover:
1. Maintaining provincial responsibility for the Fire Services Act and regulations;
2. Cannabis revenue sharing with local governments;
3. A multi-agency approach to fire-smarting transportation corridors;
4. Increasing funding for fire centres in B.C.;
5. Improving access to provincial emergency preparedness funding for independent fire services; and
6. Consistency in access to Emergency Support Service (ESS) resources;
7. Training challenges related to new ammonia regulations;
8. The need for more small aircraft pilot training; and
9. Resourcing a data sharing system in B.C. for emergencies.
The CRD Directors also met with Ministers and ministry staff to advocate for developing emergency egress routes for the Wells area (Purden Lake Connector) and the Horsefly/Likely area (Ditch Road); improving access to broadband internet in rural areas; industrial, commercial and institutional recycling regulation; expanding three-phase power along Highway 26; fixing the West Fraser Road; and additional support for rural policing and crime prevention.