2009 Resolutions

ON MOTION was ENDORSED

R2 VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS CONSIDERED EMPLOYEES – Port Hardy

WHEREAS unpaid volunteer firefighters are considered “employees” of local government under section 67 of the Local Government Act and are therefore excluded from being nominated for, being elected to, or holding local government office;

AND WHEREAS this creates a hardship for small communities where both volunteer firefighters and those willing to seek election for local government are scarce:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of BC Municipalities petition the Minister of Community Development to revise the Act to exempt unpaid volunteer firefighters from the definition of “employee” under section 67 of the Local Government Act, allowing them to be nominated for, elected to or hold local government office without having to resign from the fire department.

ON MOTION was ENDORSED

R3 ELECTED OFFICIALS AS VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS – Sayward

WHEREAS volunteer firefighters are essential for providing adequate emergency fire response services in many small/rural communities, and there is great difficulty in finding and retaining volunteer firefighters in these communities;

AND WHEREAS volunteer firefighters are deemed to be employees for election purposes requiring them to take a leave of absence to be nominated for elected office and then to resign from being a volunteer firefighter to hold office:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of BC Municipalities request the provincial government to amend the Local Government Act, Division 5, Section 67 to exempt volunteer firefighters from being designated as employees for election purposes.

R4 MUNICIPAL BYLAW FINES – Courtenay

WHEREAS municipalities lack the legislative tools to adequately deal with certain types of problem properties and the collection of outstanding municipal fines:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Government of British Columbia amend the Community Charter to provide municipalities other methods of collecting outstanding MTI tickets including applying outstanding fines to property taxes.

The motion as amended, then read:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Government of British Columbia amend the Community Charter to provide local governments other methods of collecting outstanding MTI tickets including applying outstanding fines to property taxes.

ON MOTION, as amended, was ENDORSED

R5 CLIMATE ACTION SERVICES – View Royal

WHEREAS signatories to the Climate Action Charter are committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions but do not necessarily have the resources to monitor opportunities and develop initiatives;

AND WHEREAS the Province and the Union of BC Municipalities are committed to supporting local governments in pursuing these goals, including developing options and actions for local governments to be carbon neutral in respect of their operations by 2012:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UBCM establish a service for the purpose of advising local governments on matters related to carbon tax, quotas, and opportunities for carbon tax credit rebates and other allied matters.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R6 REGULATION OF NUISANCES ON PRIVATE MANAGED FOREST LAND – Sunshine Coast RD

WHEREAS local governments lack the authority to regulate nuisances such as noise on Private Managed Forest Lands;

AND WHEREAS local governments are the first point of contact for residents impacted by nuisances on Private Managed Forest Land within the urban interface:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities urge the provincial government and the Private Managed Forest Land Council to provide local government the authority to regulate nuisances such as noise on private managed forest lands within the urban interface.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R7 COMMUNITY WATERSHEDS – Port Alberni

WHEREAS dramatic changes in land use and property ownership are impacting private lands within the watersheds of our municipal water sources;

WHEREAS the Provincial Health Authorities are increasing the requirements for clean water in municipal water systems and water quality is more difficult to manage on account of poor land use practices and changing ownership of land within our watersheds:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of BC Municipalities request the provincial government to develop, implement and fund a strategy whereby the appropriate mix of land use regulation and local ownership of community watersheds be applied for the security of our precious municipal water sources.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R8 PROPERTY PURCHASE TAX AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING – Metchosin

WHEREAS a purchaser of a residence selling for $500,000 will pay 1% property transfer tax on the first $200,000 ($2,000) and 2% property transfer tax on the remaining $300,000 ($6,000) thereby costing the purchaser an additional $8,000 for housing;

AND WHEREAS Canada is now in a recession and people are suffering from the high cost of housing and basic living needs:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of BC Municipalities urge the provincial government to amend the Property Transfer Tax Act to eliminate the 2% property transfer tax on the value of a home above $200,000.

ON MOTION, was NOT ENDORSED

R9 COSTS OF RESPONDING TO PROVINCIAL REFERRALS – Sunshine Coast RD

WHEREAS local governments expend significant staff resources in order to respond to referrals and requests for comments related to applications within their boundaries from various provincial Ministries related to forest fertilization, mining, logging, foreshore leases, licenses of occupation, water licenses, etc.;

AND WHEREAS local governments face an ongoing struggle to balance budgets and respond to workload issues:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of BC Municipalities lobby the provincial government to provide funding to offset the costs of responding to the large number of referrals.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R10 INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM FUNDING – Powell River RD

WHEREAS local governments often have small scale infrastructure projects that must or can proceed quickly;

AND WHEREAS the process of submitting and reviewing applications for infrastructure grants can be time-consuming and costly:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of BC Municipalities urge the federal and provincial governments to review the Canada-BC Building Canada Fund and other infrastructure programs to incorporate a funding mechanism similar to the Community Works Fund, administered under the federal-provincial Gas Tax Agreement, to provide some direct funding for small-scale infrastructure projects, thus enabling local governments to implement these projects quickly and cost-effectively.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R11 COMPENSATION FOR LARGE SCALE MINING ACTIVITIES – Sechelt

WHEREAS large scale mining activities on Crown Land have a negative effect on neighbouring local governments in that they decrease property values and impact overall quality of life of residents;

AND WHEREAS the Crown received royalties from these mining activities:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province of BC be requested to put in place a mechanism that would allow local government to receive financial compensation to offset these negative impacts.

The resolution as amended, then read:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province of BC be requested to put in place a mechanism that would allow local government to receive financial compensation.

ON MOTION, as amended, was ENDORSED

R12 CANDIDATE REQUIREMENTS – View Royal

WHEREAS it is desirable that candidates for positions on municipal councils have vested interest in, and a close tie to the community:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Local Government Act be amended to require candidates running for a position on municipal council to have been a resident in, or have been a real property owner in, or have operated a business in the municipality in question for a period of at least 90 days prior to the date of the election.

ON MOTION, was NOT ENDORSED

R13 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION DATE – Campbell River

WHEREAS local government elections are held every three years on the third Saturday of November and the first regular council meeting following a general local election must occur within the first ten days of December;

AND WHEREAS the current November general local election date does not permit sufficient time for newly elected councils and regional boards to complete orientation sessions, attend the Union of BC Municipalities Local Government Leadership Academy training sessions, conduct strategic planning or sufficient time for financial planning for the following year; and considering the majority of Canadian provinces conduct local government election in the month of October:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government amend the Local Government Act to move the local government election date from the third Saturday in November to the third Saturday in October.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R14 COMMUNITY JUSTICE – Nanaimo RD

WHEREAS in response to requests for more police presence in our communities, local governments are frequently told that case preparation and court time for minor offences reduce the time available;

AND WHEREAS local governments are called on increasingly to provide funding for Victim Services and Restorative Justice programs which help reduce the case management and court attendance time for police staff;

AND WHEREAS despite these efforts by communities the court system requires increasing attendance by police staff:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Provincial Government find more efficient and effective ways to address delays in the court system in order to reduce the administration impact on police services and thereby improve overall police services to our communities.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R15 SAFER COMMUNITIES AND NEIGHBOURHOODS – Courtenay

WHEREAS municipalities lack the legislative tools to adequately deal with certain types of problem properties:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Government of British Columbia adopt “Safety Communities and Neighbourhoods” legislation, modeled after the Province of Alberta’s legislation in order to address the public disorder and neighbourhood deterioration caused by illicit drug houses, problem addresses and the issues associated with them.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R16 INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL GRADUATE PROGRAM – Port Alice

WHEREAS there is a critical shortage of physicians in British Columbia, particularly affecting rural and remote BC;

AND WHEREAS Canadian medical students who have been forced to study abroad and now wish to return to Canada are facing huge barriers due to a medical training model that is over one hundred years old:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ministry of Health review and correct the obstacles in the existing medical training model that are preventing Canadians, trained as doctors in other Commonwealth countries or the U.S. from returning to Canada to practice;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ministry of Health review and correct the obstacles in the current IMG (International Medical Graduate) Program that also prohibits Canadians trained as doctors in other Commonwealth countries or the U.S. from returning to Canada to practice.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R17 INDEPENDENT POWER PROJECTS – Tofino

WHEREAS the public power strategy of creating a crown corporation (BC Hydro) which for over 40 years produced great dividends for the people of BC, providing a secure, long-term supply of power as well as surplus electricity for export;

AND WHEREAS over 600 water license and land tenure applications have been submitted to the integrated and Land Management Bureau for river diversion projects on creeks and rivers across BC, with a typical project requiring river diversion, dams, logging, powerhouses, and many kilometres of roads and transmission lines, with no requirement for environmental assessment process for projects under 50 megawatts;

AND WHEREAS proposed run-of-the-river power projects do not take into consideration the various social, economic, recreational and environmental impacts that the construction and operation of a facility may have on the neighbouring areas and the region at large, and where each project is considered independently, not assessing the cumulative impact of multiple projects on the landscape;

AND WHEREAS the Union of BC Indian Chiefs has called for a moratorium on private hydro development until there was assurance of “transparent” consultation with First Nations and a review of the terms of existing water licenses:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government place a moratorium on issuing water licenses or licenses of occupation for independent power projects (IPPs) until:

  1. All IPPs are regulated by BC Hydro for the public good.
  2. Regional plans for IPP development are completed by the BC government with full public participation including regional and local governments.
  3. IPPs are only developed when other less costly and less damaging forms of hydro power have been developed, and when new development is required for provincial hydro power self sufficiency.
  4. Regulations require all IPPs to be assessed under the BC Environmental Assessment Act to determine if they are appropriate; this would include an examination of the cumulative impacts of proposed projects.
  5. The development of IPPs is acceptable to local First Nations and local non-native communities.

The resolution as amended, then read:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government place a moratorium on issuing water licenses or licenses of occupation for independent power projects (IPPs) until:

  1. All IPPs are regulated by BC Hydro for the public good.
  2. Regional plans for IPP development are completed with the BC government with full public participation with regional and local governments.

IPPs are only developed when other less costly and less damaging forms of sustainable power have been developed, and when new development is required for provincial power self sufficiency.

  1. Regulations require all IPPs to be assessed under the BC Environmental Assessment Act to determine if they are appropriate; this would include an examination of the cumulative impacts of proposed projects.
  2. The development of IPPs is acceptable to local First Nations and local non-native communities.

ON MOTION, as amended was ENDORSED

R18 SOLAR PANEL INSTALLATION – View Royal

WHEREAS government at all levels should be encouraging the use of “green” methods of energy generation such as solar panels on buildings;

AND WHEREAS it would be cheaper and more convenient for homeowners to install solar panels should they deem to do so at some future time after the building is constructed:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the BC Building Code be amended to require new building to be pre-plumbed and pre-wired for future solar panel installation.

ON MOTION, was NOT ENDORSED

R19 PST ON INDUSTRIAL USE OF ELECTRIC POWER – Sunshine Coast RD

WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia is the only province to impose a Provincial Sales Tax on process use of electric power by industrial customers;

AND WHEREAS many pulp and paper mills are struggling to remain viable, particularly during this period of economic uncertainty:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities lobby the Provincial government to amend the Social Service Tax Act to exempt industrial customers from provincial sales tax on the process use of electric power.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R20 VANCOUVER ISLAND TRANSMISSION CORRIDOR – Mt. Waddington RD

WHEREAS Vancouver Island currently generates only about 500 megawatts of the approximately 2,300 megawatts of power it consumes;

AND WHEREAS the British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC)) has identified Transmission Expansion Opportunities of about 1,800 megawatts of ‘green’ power on North Vancouver Island;

AND WHEREAS existing transmission lines will enable less than 10% of this potential power to be utilized:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of BC Municipalities request that the BCTC and BC Hydro provide a sufficiently sized Vancouver Island transmission power corridor to help enable Vancouver Island to achieve power self sufficiency from 100% green power sources.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R21 A MINOR ROUTES STRATEGY FOR COASTAL FERRY SERVICE – Islands Trust

WHEREAS the transportation services provided by BC Ferries on minor routes along the south coast are as essential for ferry dependent communities as the provincial road network is for other communities, and are an integral element of provincial tourism goals, yet have been subject to fare increases of as much as 120% over the last five years;

AND WHEREAS the British Columbia Ferry Advisory Committee Chairs have, through extensive research and analysis, proposed a minor routes strategy that supports the sustainability of island economies and the coastal ferry service:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of BC Municipalities and the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities request that the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure work with coastal communities and BC Ferries to develop a strategy for the minor southern coastal ferry routes, as proposed by the Ferry Advisory Committee Chairs.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R22 VIA RAIL – Nanaimo RD

WHEREAS Via Rail is to provide a passenger train service for Vancouver Island;

AND WHEREAS the current schedule only provides one-way departures between Victoria and Courtenay for same day travel and does not provide morning departure for travel south between Courtenay and Victoria;

AND WHEREAS Via Rail has restricted the ability for passengers to be picked up and dropped off at unscheduled locations:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Via Rail consider re-routing or adding an additional Dayliner to travel from Courtenay to Victoria and return daily and to consider reintroducing unscheduled stops on the rail line to provide a sustainable transportation alternative for Vancouver Island Communities.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R23 FARM ASSESSMENT – Metchosin

WHEREAS the BC Assessment proposal to remove lands not actively used for agriculture (such as rock, wetlands, natural buffers, woodlots and streams) from a class 9 agriculture rating to a residential class with increase assessed values and subsequently property taxes on many small farms;

AND WHEREAS the preservation of such non-productive lands in often critically important for continued agricultural potential (e.g. maintaining organic certification, farm water supply, preservation of buffers, seasonal livestock grazing, location of farm residence and buildings and other agricultural requirements and services) of small farms;

AND WHEREAS initial experience with reassessment of small lot agriculture has revealed (a) criteria which do not take account of the characteristics of small farms, and (b) inconsistent, inaccurate, arbitrary and subjective application of those criteria, raising serious questions of equity and fairness;

AND WHEREAS the BC Assessment proposal will have the effect of rendering many small farms uneconomic, forcing many farmers to stop producing at a time when society generally and Vancouver Island population are demanding a sustainable local food production capability:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities notify BC Assessment of its objection to BC Assessment’s farm assessment policy criteria;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that BC Assessment employ personnel with experience and knowledge of agriculture to apply those criteria in practice.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R24 RAILS WITH TRAILS – Courtenay

WHEREAS communities along the Island Corridor, formerly the E & N Rail Corridor, are involved in developing Rails-with-Trails along the rail corridor;

AND WHEREAS there may be financial efficiencies in developing a single coordinated infrastructure project for the entire corridor;

AND WHEREAS there may be financial efficiencies in developing a single coordinated infrastructure project for the entire corridor;

AND WHEREAS one large, coordinated project may be more attractive to outside funding:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities work with those communities to facilitate the exploration of creating a single project to develop Rails-with-Trails infrastructure along the Island Corridor on Vancouver Island.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

R25 BAMFIELD AMBULANCE – Alberni-Clayoquot RD

WHEREAS Bamfield needs an ambulance service;

AND WHEREAS Bamfield’s population is approximately 350 (doubling in summer) and produces approximately 35 to 40 medical responses, along with 100 to 120 Search and Rescue events and 20 Medic-airvacs each year:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government continue to explore ways to provide ambulance services in Bamfield, utilizing existing resources and by developing partnerships between the Vancouver Island Health Authority, BC Ambulance Service, Emergency Health Services and the Bamfield and Huu-ay-aht First Nation communities.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSE

LR1 USE OF FOUNDATIONS SKILLS ASSESSMENT TEST DATA – Central Coast RD

WHEREAS the Ministry of Education collects data derived from the Foundation Skills Assessment Test ad routinely makes this data available, on a school by school basis;

AND WHEREAS Foundation Skills Assessment Test data is used by the Fraser Institute to rank schools within the Province;

AND WHEREAS such ranking of schools can adversely affect the economies of British Columbia communities:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities urge the Ministry of Education to immediately take steps to ensure that all data derived from the Foundation Skills Assessment Test, specific to individual schools, will be protected from Freedom of Information requests and that only general, province-wide results be made available to the public.

ON MOTION, was NOT ENDORSED

LR2 NEED FOR BE INTEGRATED SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PLANNING PROCESS – Strathcona RD

WHEREAS British Columbia is recognized as a significant potential provider of clean and renewable energy production and private energy developers may have a role in mitigating the effects of climate change due to fossil fuel use by generating clean power through access to and use of public resources including navigable waters, rivers, forest lands and associated roads;

AND WHEREAS without a comprehensive planning process, these resources may be developed in an inappropriate manner that fails to recognize potential significant adverse environmental, economic and social impacts:

THERE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities request the government of British Columbia to immediately enact a province wide Integrated Sustainable Energy Planning process to determine the need for the best technology to be used and any new siting of sustainable energy production.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

LR3 AGRICULTURE FUNDING – Highlands

WHEREAS British Columbia spends 3.3% of the Provincial budget to support agriculture compared to the national average of 16.4%;

AND WHEREAS the Agricultural Land Commission provides strong protection for farmlands but exclusions from populated areas mitigated by inclusions from lesser populated areas remove food production from population basis:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Provincial Government increase financial support for Agriculture consistent with the national average and cease approving any further Agricultural Land Reserve exclusions.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

LR4 MORATORIUM ON RUN OF RIVER PRIVATE POWER PROJECTS – Highlands

WHEREAS fresh water in rivers is a fundamental resource that sustains our lives and livelihoods and local governments should have a mandate to protect the environmental, economic and social values that rivers sustain:

AND WHEREAS Bill 30, enacted by the provincial government, could lead to corporate control of our public rivers for private power production, and effectively silenced local governments and regional districts Run of River decisions without a meaningful public debate on the cumulative impact of all these projects which include some 700 rivers that have already been staked:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Bill 30 be revoked and a moratorium be placed on all Run of River private power projects that have not been given final approval:

AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that comprehensive province wide public consultation and review be undertaken on the social acceptability, environmental and economic benefits of Run of River projects.

ON MOTION, was WITHDRAWN

LR5 RESTORATION OF BC HYDRO MANDATE – Highlands

WHEREAS the BC Energy Plan limited the mandate for BC Hydro to grow public green power assets and is instead directed to buy power from private power utilities;

AND WHEREAS there has not been a meaningful public debate on the Energy Plan or on the environmental, social and economic costs and benefits of different green power sources (such as Run of River):

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that BC Hydro have its mandate resorted to look for opportunities to develop sustainable alternative sources.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

LR6 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY INSTALLATIONS – Oak Bay

WHEREAS government at all levels should be encouraging the use of “green” methods of energy generation:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government of British Columbia provide incentives to encourage new construction to be pre-plumbed and pre-wired for future solar panels or other alternative energy installations.

WHEREAS local governments are called on increasingly to provide funding for Victim Services and Restorative Justice Programs;

AND WHEREAS these programs have been proved to be more effective and less costly than the traditional justice system when applied to less serious and non-violent crimes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Provincial Government provides sustainable ongoing funding for community based restorative justice and victim services’ programs and complimentary service to British Columbia’s justice system.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED

LR7 VICTIM SERVICES AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PROGRAMS – Oak Bay

WHEREAS local governments are called on increasingly to provide funding for Victim Services and Restorative Justice Programs;

AND WHEREAS these programs have been proved to be more effective and less costly than the traditional justice system when applied to less serious and non-violent crimes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Provincial Government provides sustainable ongoing funding for community based restorative justice and victim services’ programs and complimentary service to British Columbia’s justice system.

ON MOTION, was ENDORSED