2011 Resolution Responses

All endorsed resolutions have been conveyed to the relevant provincial and federal government department, or other organizations as appropriate. Most responses have now been received and are printed below.  Sponsors will be notified of outstanding responses as they are received, and responses will be posted on www.ubcm.ca.

SECTION A – Contains resolutions that pertain to new policy matters not previously discussed by the membership and/or priority issues that have broad application for all UBCM members.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government provide funding for enhanced seniors’ outreach and preventative health programs (including information services, social networking, and age-appropriate exercise programs) and to support better coordination among existing services.Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Health

The Province is supporting a variety of programs and initiatives in communities across the province aimed at enhancing outreach to seniors and strengthening the ability of older British Columbians to remain healthy, active and connected in their communities. For example, Healthy Families BC, the new comprehensive health promotion program announced by Premier Christy Clark, will help families, including seniors, make healthy choices and lead healthier lives.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) continues to collaborate with UBCM and other partners to encourage and support local governments to take action to make their communities more welcoming and accessible to people of all ages through its Age-friendly BC Initiative.  As part of this initiative, MoH is developing new age-friendly tools and resources. For example, MoH released a new guide to help businesses attract and keep older customers and employees called “Creating an Age-friendly Business in B.C”.  This and other resources are available both in print and on the Province’s information website SeniorsBC.ca.

The SeniorsBC.ca website and e-newsletter were launched by the Province in March 2010 to provide seniors and their families with a one-stop, user-friendly information source on services and supports for seniors and other topics of interest to older British Columbians.  The website includes tips and information on how to keep healthy and active, and links to a range of resources such as the “Healthy Eating for Seniors” handbook, and the “Move for Life” DVD.  Seniors can also access information over the phone through the toll-free Health and Seniors Information Line, with translation services available in 130 languages.

To improve the way the Province communicates with seniors, MoH held a series of focus groups with seniors in several communities around the province to get feedback on the best ways to support older British Columbians with information and resources.  Findings from these focus groups will be incorporated into new and existing communications initiatives.

At the same time, the Province is working with communities to explore new and innovative ways of reaching out to seniors and supporting seniors’ independence and community participation.  For example, MoH has partnered with the United Way of the Lower Mainland on a community-based pilot initiative called Community Action for Seniors’ Independence (CASI).  Through CASI, local agencies in five pilot communities have received funding to provide a range of non-medical home support services such as housekeeping, transportation and yard work to help seniors remain living in their own homes. As well, the Province is continuing to support seniors’ independence by investing in affordable seniors’ housing through BC Housing.

Finally, construction has commenced on 18 Seniors’ Community Parks, which provide outdoor recreation equipment to improve mobility, coordination and balance for older adults — and also provide a place for seniors to socialize.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request that the provincial and federal governments recognize the authorities and responsibilities of local governments with respect to aquaculture and immediately consult with them about the impact and implications of the new Aquaculture Agreement;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the provincial and federal governments recognize and respect local government bylaws (including zoning) in the siting, approval and operation of fish and shellfish farms.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Agriculture

In February 2009, the BC Supreme Court ruled that finfish aquaculture is a fishery, the regulation of which is a federal responsibility.

The BC Supreme Court ruling did not change the Provincial (and therefore local governments’) authority to issue land tenures for aquaculture under the Land Act. Accordingly, local governments retain the ability to zone and establish bylaws with respect to where aquaculture operations are appropriately located, as long as they do not impinge on the Federal fisheries jurisdiction over aquaculture “fishery” operations.

The Canada-British Columbia Agreement on Aquaculture Management was drafted to set out the responsibilities of both governments and provide certainty regarding the manner in which the two governments will collaborate and facilitate effective coordination. The process the Federal Government follows in making licensing decisions is the purview of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The Province recognizes the importance of local governments’ role and shares the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ interest in ensuring the best results for local governments and communities with an interest in aquaculture. The Province will continue to send to local governments aquaculture tenure applications through the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and liaise with local government on specific files.

A7            TREATY ADVISORY COMMITTEE FUNDING         Sunshine Coast RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation to provide adequate core funding to Treaty Advisory Committees and related organizations.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation

The Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation’s vision is to build positive and enduring relationships with First Nations and Aboriginal people in British Columbia through treaties and other lasting agreements.

The Ministry recognizes that respectful relationships between local governments and First Nations are necessary in order to effectively plan and work together on matters of mutual interest.

While core provincial funding for treaty advisory committees is not available at this time, the Ministry is committed to ongoing communication with local governments and will consider other opportunities to support local governments as valued advisors of provincial treaty negotiation teams.

SECTION B1 – Contains resolutions that have been previously considered and endorsed; or are in keeping with UBCM General Policy or other major previously approved policy documents.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM call on the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and other agencies or provincial ministries as needed, with regard to facilitating the reimbursement process for volunteer and career fire rescue services across British Columbia in a timely manner.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Environment

There are approximately 3,500 hazardous material incidents reported across British Columbia each year.

The BC Ministry of Environment is the lead provincial ministry responsible for provincial preparedness and response management for spills of oils and hazardous materials.

Fire Departments are able to recover reasonable costs when responding to a hazardous materials incident outside of their local government responsibility when they are under the direction of a Ministry of Environment Environmental Emergency Response Officer.

Please contact the Environmental Emergency Program at 250 387-9955 for a guidance document that provides further clarification.

Local governments are strongly encouraged to develop their own cost recovery bylaw(s) to enable them to directly recover the costs they incur from the responsible party.

The Ministry of Environment is currently reviewing industry response capability and capacity requirements which may lead to additional requirements for industry to ensure they are able to manage and respond to their incidents (this may help reduce local government response costs).

Other Response:  ICBC

With respect to resolution B5 – Local Government Emergency Response Costs, ICBC collects premiums for expected claims based on what our customers are legally liable to pay, should they be responsible for a crash. To the extent that the premium for Optional insurance considers fire department charges, the premium accounts for situations in which our customers are travelling in jurisdictions where there is a legal obligation to pay for fire department charges.

As there is no legal obligation for motorists to pay for fire department charges within BC, ICBC does not collect premiums, either through Basic or Optional insurance, to cover these charges. If the legislation were changed to make BC motorists responsible for fire department charges under Basic insurance, ICBC may require an increase to the Basic insurance rate. Basic insurance rates are regulated by the British Columbia Utilities Commission and any change requires their approval.

ICBC contributes to municipalities and municipal services through annual grants in lieu of taxes. Thirty-one cities, districts, and municipalities received approximately $4.3 million in 2010. ICBC also supports communities through its loss prevention and road safety programs, including partnerships involving local road improvements. In 2010, ICBC invested approximately $46 million in road safety.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Province of BC, through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General to assume all responsibility for the provision and funding of victim services within the province of BC.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General has a funding formula in place to distribute available funding dollars for victim service programs throughout the province. The formula is based on population and police strength and was updated in fiscal 08/09 which resulted in an average funding increase of 22% per program.

Police-based victim service programs are cost shared with local governments in communities that contribute to their policing costs. This cost-sharing approach recognizes the critical role that police-based victim service programs play in police and community response to crime and trauma, particularly around crisis response services.

The Province provides over $70 million annually in funding for service to support victims of crime including $12.494 million for victim service programs, $16.448 million for violence against women programs, $12.343 for the Crime Victim Assistance Program and $32 million for transition house services.

B19         BIKE LANE SWEEPING                   Sunshine Coast RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure to amend road maintenance contracts to increase the frequency of bike lane and highway shoulder sweeping.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Ministry), through its maintenance contractors, provides many maintenance services that benefit cyclists (e.g., shoulder sweeping, debris removal, line painting, pavement maintenance etc.). Ministry staff regularly meet with the maintenance contractor to discuss the needs of all road users, including cyclists.

The sweeping of highway shoulders is provided as part of the Ministry’s maintenance contracts. Highway conditions are monitored and sweeping is completed each spring, and when debris accumulates and creates a safety concern for highway users. In areas of higher cycling traffic, the Ministry and the maintenance contractor will evaluate the amount of sweeping occurring to determine if the frequency of sweeping is appropriate for the amount of cycling traffic on that road.

The Ministry will consider the benefits and extra cost of additional sweeping and will work with communities across the province to identify areas for consideration of additional service.

B20         OFF ROAD VEHICLE (ORV) LICENSING & SAFETY           Powell River RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Province of British Columbia to enact ATV licencing legislation as soon as possible in 2011.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations

In November 2009, government announced that the Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Management Framework would be implemented by regulatory changes in approximately two years. In June 2010, government formally established an ORV Joint Advisory Group with twenty provincial stakeholder associations, including UBCM, to ensure the successful implementation of the new ORV laws. A presentation by ministry staff on the ORV framework was well received by regional districts at the annual meeting of the electoral area directors.

In September 2010, UBCM formed an ORV local government working group comprising municipalities and regional districts from across the province. Collaboration between the working group and ministry staff has been highly successful.

New ORV laws are being rolled out in phases, starting in November 2011 with safer highway crossings. Full implementation is expected by fall 2012. This timeframe allows for necessary legislative improvements to modernize ORV legislation and address key issues raised by stakeholders, including better enforcement.

B24         VARYING TAX RATES    Lake Cowichan

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province amend Section 197 of the Community Charter to allow municipalities to have the flexibility of levying separate tax rates for each of land and improvements for each property class.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Community Development

While the variable tax rate system does not currently allow municipalities to set differing property tax rates for Land and Improvements, there are other mechanisms available through the Community Charter and Regulations.  Section 216 of the Community Charter, Local Service Taxes, allows costs to be recovered through taxes imposed on land, on improvements, or on both.

Municipalities may also use tools such as the revitalization tax exemption provisions found in section 226 of the Community Charter, or assessment averaging and phasing as described in the Assessment Averaging and Phasing Regulation, B.C. Reg. 370/2003, to encourage property owners to make significant improvements to their property.

B25         UNIVERSITY PROPERTY TAX PAYMENTS            Port Alberni

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Province to address the issue of university grants-in-lieu of taxes by amending section 27(2)(w) of the University Act to specify that a university must pay to a municipality a grant equal to general municipal taxes.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Finance

The Minister of Finance agreed to consider this resolution during the preparation of Budget 2012.

B27         PUBLIC LIBRARY FUNDING          Nanaimo City

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request that the provincial government restore funding for BC libraries and reading centres to the levels that were achieved as part of the strategic plan prior to 2009.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed as Amended

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Education

Funding for the public library sector is maintained at $14 million for 2011. This is 60 percent more funding than in 2001. The Province has protected core operating grants despite the global economic downturn, and is working to enhance shared infrastructure.

Five years ago, the Province invested $12 million to implement the public library strategic plan Libraries Without Walls. Flowing from this plan, the Province and public libraries have launched several province-wide initiatives that have generated substantial economies of scale, enhanced the stability of libraries and improved organizational infrastructure. The powerful synergies of these partnerships and shared strategic priorities are netting tremendous benefits and laying the groundwork for future investment. As a result, libraries are in a much stronger position today, offering more services and dynamic collections than ever before.

Given today’s fiscal realities, the Province cannot invest in “business as usual.” Instead, the Province must explore all opportunities to maximize investment in strategic partnerships, leveraging existing capacities for greater shared benefits. For maximum effectiveness, therefore, provincial funding is targeted to collaborative literacy and technology equity initiatives aimed at improving services, reducing costs and increasing access.

B40         GLASS SPONGE REEF PROTECTION   Sunshine Coast RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge Fisheries & Oceans Canada to also designate the glass sponge reefs in the Southern Strait of Georgia (specifically McCall Bank, Howe Sound, Fraser Ridge, Active Pass, Nanaimo, Coulee Bank and Parksville) as “areas of interest” for protection.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Federal Response:  Environment Canada

Although the protection of sponge reefs is the responsibility of Fisheries & Oceans Canada, it may interest you to know that my department is working toward the designation of a marine national wildlife area to protect seabirds and their marine environment around the Scott Islands off northern Vancouver Island. This work is being done in collaboration with Fisheries & Oceans Canada and other federal departments, as a marine national wildlife area designated under the Canada Wildlife Act has the ability to protect all species and habitat within that site. At this time, the proposed boundary for this protected area includes marine habitat recognized as sensitive by Environment Canada and Fisheries & Oceans Canada.

The sponge reefs discovered in a number of areas within the Strait of Georgia region have international significance and ties to the more extensive hexactinellid “glass” sponge reefs found a number of years ago in the Hecate Strait region of British Columbia’s central and northern Pacific coast. Fisheries & Oceans Canada has already designated the northern sponge reefs as “areas of interest” and is considering their potential for establishment as marine protected areas.

With regard to the sponge reef area in Active Pass, Parks Canada can certainly give it consideration, as it will likely fall inside the proposed boundaries of the future Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve.

This action will need to be co-ordinated with Fisheries & Oceans Canada’s Pacific region offices and the Pacific Geological Survey offices of Natural Resources Canada, which are collaborating to complete the bathymetric survey work (seabed mapping) that led to the identification of the rare sponge reefs.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the Province to enact an effective Species & Ecosystem Protection Act to protect British Columbia’s biodiversity.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Environment

In June 2010, the provincial government fulfilled a commitment made in the August 2009 throne speech by striking a provincial Species at Risk Task Force. The Task Force was charged with providing recommendations to the Government to help it update its vision for the conservation of species and ecosystems at risk and ensure British Columbia remains a leader in environmental sustainability.

The report of the Species at Risk Task Force was released on July 4th, 2011. The report makes 16 recommendations addressing legislation, environmental management, First Nations engagement and public engagement.

Among the recommendations regarding public engagement are several actions specific to local governments, including establishing a link with municipalities by coordinating the recommendations of the Task Force with the strategies proposed by the Local Government Species at Risk Working Group. This group, led by the Ministry of Environment, brings together representatives from provincial, municipal, and regional governments to discuss approaches to protecting species at risk on local government and private lands in BC.

The Province is currently studying the report in detail and will be delivering a formal response over the next few months. The public had the opportunity to provide submissions on the Report of the British Columbia Task Force on Species at Risk through the Ministry of Environment website. As government formulates its plan, all feedback received will be valued and the implications on all interests will be fully considered.

B42         CONTROL OF CANADA GEESE                 Metchosin

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM work with the provincial and federal governments to manage and control burgeoning populations of Canada geese which, left uncontrolled, present major and significant human health and safety, food production, environmental, recreational, water quality and other impacts; and that UBCM support continued provincial support for the multi-phased approach adopted by the Peninsula Agriculture Commission.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Ministry of Environment support efforts to resolve the Canada Goose problem in the Capital Region District as it addresses an important human-wildlife conflict affecting both rural and urban areas throughout BC. Although no direct scientific evidence demonstrates that fecal deposits on parks, golf courses, and other public areas adversely affect human health and water quality, we are aware of local concerns that have been raised on this issue.

We note also that while provincial wildlife agencies were involved in the translocation of Canada Geese to parts of BC for hunting opportunities, this could only be done with the full partnership and cooperation of the federal Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) as their legislation under the Migratory Birds Convention Act supersedes the authority of the provincial Wildlife Act. Therefore any remedies must receive CWS approval and be in line with their legislation and policies. All direct population reduction methods such as kill permits and egg addling come entirely under the purview of federal legislation. The CWS has recently created a revised management handbook, management plan guidance document, and frequently asked questions summary that address the issue.

In partnership with the CWS, hunting is the major tool available to the province for wildlife control. We have attempted to increase hunter harvest where possible by introducing multiple openings, but unfortunately the worst problems areas usually have been closed to hunting under municipal bylaws. This is perhaps something that we could work with the UBCM on as these municipal closures have compounded the problem by providing the conditions for rapid, unchecked population growth.

Nonetheless, we recognize the growing seriousness of the problem, and acknowledge that we must be a part of the solution, so we welcome and commend the efforts of the UBCM and others to help address this complex issue. We are already participating with several partners on this issue for the development of a Regional Canada Goose Management Strategy for the CRD area. Recommendations resulting from this strategy will assist in developing effective management strategies to deal with these conflicts. Our ministries continue to support this project by providing technical advice and support on program materials, and attending meetings and field trips.

Federal Response:  Environment Canada

Environment Canada understands the problems being caused by growing populations of resident Canada Geese. Recently, the Department’s Canadian Wildlife Service updated its policies, strategies and advice to help mitigate the conflict between human activities and this species. This information is posted at:


Should you require further information, I invite you to contact Environment Canada’s Manager of Population Conservation for British Columbia, Mr. Saul Schneider, at saul.schneider@ec.gc.ca or 604-940-4727.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM express its concern about the ability of the Agricultural Land Commission to achieve its mandate, and that resources to the Agricultural Land Commission be increased such that it is able to effectively carry out its mandate of preserving agricultural land for agriculture.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Provincial Agricultural Land Commission

At the request of the Minister of Agriculture, during the Fall of 2010, the Chair of the Agricultural Land Commission conducted a thorough review of ALC operations, policy, regulation and legislation to ensure the ALC continues to effectively fulfill its mandate to support farm families and enhance the integrity and sustainability of agriculture in British Columbia.

The Chair’s report “Review of the Agricultural Land Commission – Moving Forward: A Strategic Vision of the Agricultural Land Commission for Future Generations” was submitted to the Minister of Agriculture in November 2010.

The Province continues to be committed to the ALR and the protection of agricultural land to support farmers and farm families, and on November 14, 2011, government announced several initiatives aimed at improving the structure and sustainability of the ALC.  Improvements to the ALC have been made in terms of transitional funding that provides the ALC with resources to transition to a more self-supporting operating model by 2013 and to improve information services and mapping.  Legislative changes in place as of November 25, 2011 will discourage repeat applications to exclude agricultural land, enhance the ALC’s enforcement capacity and encourage farming by allowing the ALC to focus on proactive land use planning with local governments rather than reacting to applications.  Further details may be found at:

http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2011/11/province-strengthens-agricultural-land-commission.html and



THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the Province of BC to revise the Private Managed Forest Land Act and appurtenant regulations to approve forestry practices on private managed forest lands to a standard equivalent or better than Crown forest land regulations, thereby better protecting community interests.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations

In British Columbia, governance for environmental stewardship on private land is a multi-agency responsibility. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is responsible for the Private Managed Forest Land Act that regulates forests practices on private land to ensure protection of key public values such as fish and wildlife habitat, soil conservation, drinking water protection and reforestation. Several other agencies also play a role, including the Ministry of Health, responsible for maintaining safe drinking water under the Drinking Water Protection Act; the Ministry of Environment, responsible for the protection of fish and wildlife under the Wildlife Act, the Fisheries Act and the Environmental Management Act; and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, responsible for fish habitat under the Fisheries Act.

The Private Managed Forest Land Council is responsible for establishing, administering, monitoring and amending regulations, with assistance from ministry staff and Legislative Counsel, relating to forest practices on private managed forest land. The Council is also responsible for monitoring forest practices and outcomes, the results of which help inform them about the effectiveness of regulations.

Based on the monitoring results received to date, government is satisfied that current standards are ensuring that the objectives for key environmental values as set out in the Private Managed Forest Land Act are being met. Government and the Council will continue to monitor results and look for ways to improve practices when necessary.

B51         FUNDING FOR VISITOR CENTRES            North Saanich

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the Province to increase the level of funding for the improvement and operation of effective visitor centres.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Innovation

The provincial government recognizes the importance of Visitor Centres in encouraging visitors to stay longer, spend more money and return to our province.

The overall budget for the Visitor Centre Network program in 2011 is $2.2 M which includes membership benefits such as access to trademarks, highway signage, training and materials, staff uniforms, online stats database and educational SharePoint site, as well as the fee for service. In addition, a Network conference is offered annually.

Of the $2.2 M, the annual fee for service has increased by 70% from 2001 to 2011 (less than $1 million in 2001 to nearly $1.7 million today) and is provided to recognize regional and provincial servicing.

It is up to a community to decide whether to operate a visitor centre, and the ministry does not provide those centres with operational or capital funding.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government be urged to properly fund construction, resourcing, equipping and staffing of hospitals in this province.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Health

Since 2001, government has invested almost $7 billion in capital improvements to expand, modernize and upgrade hospitals and health-care facilities right across B.C.

Over the next three years, British Columbia’s health care system will benefit from investments such as new medical equipment and modernized health facilities as part of a $1.9-billion health sector capital plan.

To support health authorities in using health care dollars most efficiently and with maximum flexibility, the province implemented a multi-year capital budgeting system and a capital policy framework that encourages more innovative solutions to meeting capital needs (e.g., public private partnerships; residential care service agreements).

As there is not an unlimited supply of capital funding, health authorities and the Ministry must prioritize capital requests to ensure funds are directed to the facilities with the greatest need.

While all health facilities regularly require replacement of medical equipment, no health facility in British Columbia goes unequipped.

Ministry of Health funding to health authorities for the 2011/12 fiscal year will rise to over $9.6 billion – an increase of $4.0 billion since 2001. Health authorities continue to spend approximately 60 percent of their total annual expenditures in the acute care sector.

The Ministry continues to provide record levels of funding to the health care system, and by 2013/14 the health budget will have increased by more than 100 per cent since 2000/01. Total ministry spending will rise to a record $15.7 billion in 2011/12 compared to $8.3 billion in 2000/01. Total ministry spending is expected to rise to $16.8 billion by 2013/14– up $8.5 billion or an increase of more than 100 per cent since 2000/01. Even in tough economic times, we have honoured our commitment to protect health care with an additional $1.1 billion over the next two years.

B62         AUTISM PROGRAMS & FUNDING               Sidney

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government be encouraged to:

  • Reinstate and fully fund early intensive therapy autism programs for all identified children whose parents request it;
  • Increase funding for universal early screening and identification of infants and toddlers who are at risk for autism, and initiate very early intervention programs that teach parents to interact with and facilitate their child’s development as soon as they are diagnosed;
  • Increase educational funds that are targeted at supporting teachers to educate students with autism and other developmental disabilities, using the principles of Universal Design for Learning, positive behavior support, and other evidence based educational strategies; and
  • Increase funding for post-secondary vocational supports aimed at creating customized, community-based employment opportunities for all individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Health

The British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN) provides diagnostic and assessment services to children eighteen years and under. BCAAN has standards and guidelines to ensure consistent care across the province. Additionally, a systemic tracking of autism assessments and referrals has been developed by BCAAN.

The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) historically provided funding for approximately 1,100 assessments conducted throughout the province annually. Eligible referrals have risen steadily from approximately 400 in 2002/03 to 1,900 in 2010/11.

In 2011/12, PHSA increased the annual BCAAN operating budget by $1.296 million, to $4.696 million to fund 480 additional assessments per year for a total of 1,580. In July 2011, a new system developed by BCAAN for tracking of autism assessments and referrals was implemented. The system will improve effective streamlining of all referrals and shorten the wait time for assessment.

Ministry of Children and Family Development

British Columbia is a national leader in autism supports and services for children and youth. The Province is investing more than $165 million in services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Specifically, the budget for autism intervention and funding programs is more than ten times the 2001 budget of $4.1 million, totaling more than $42 million in 2011/2012.

For intervention services to children under 6 the province has shifted from contracted Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention programs, which were serving less than 10% of eligible children, in favour of a more equitable service model. As a result, rates were increased from $20,000 to $22,000 for over 900 families to access early autism intervention services across British Columbia. The Province has committed a minimum of $1 million annually toward the creation of a new Provincial Outreach Program(s) for young children with ASD. The program’s goal is to improve access to high-quality, community-based intervention services and supports and enhance local opportunities for education, support, and training especially in rural and remote communities.

British Columbia is the only province in Canada that has a no waitlist policy for families to access autism funding once their child or youth has received a diagnosis of ASD.

The Province partners with the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN) to provide diagnostic and assessment services to children eighteen years and under.

Unique student supplementary funding to boards of education and independent schools for students identified with ASD was increased to $18,300 from $16,000 in 2010, a 14 percent increase. The per pupil allotment for all students, including students with ASD also increased from $5,851 to $6,740. This resulted in an overall increase for a student with ASD from $21,851 to $25,040.

The Province recommends the use of the Universal Design, positive behaviour support and other evidence-based interventions by school districts.

The Province is committed to supporting people with developmental disabilities to achieve their employment goals. In 2008, the province provided $1.1 million annually for three years for the Customized Employment Demonstration Project in which eight community-based service providers delivered customized employment services that assisted people with developmental disabilities to find and keep employment that is uniquely tailored to their individual needs.

The learning and best practices coming out of the Customized Employment Demonstration Project have subsequently expanded out to other service providers, who are now offering these services to a broader client group, including people with developmental disabilities and autism. The services are now offered through eleven community-based service providers managed by the ministry and funded by the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement and the ministry’s province-wide Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities.  These services will continue to be offered until the new Employment Program of BC begins in April 2012.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the Province to create Regional Housing Trust Funds from Property Transfer Tax revenues to provide subsidized, supportive and affordable housing for communities where affordable housing is not accessible for those with low incomes such as seniors, single parent families and people with disabilities;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the funds levied for this purpose be kept within the regions they are levied from and disbursement be contingent on financial or in-kind local contributions.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Finance

The Province currently provides funding to local governments through a variety of sources and programs (e.g. Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing, Towns for Tomorrow, Building Canada Fund, unconditional Small Community and Regional District Basic Grants).

Any proposed transfer of tax revenue to local governments must be evaluated in the context of the province’s need to fund essential services.

Generally, tax revenues are dedicated to fund particular programs only in limited circumstances because tax revenues fluctuate in ways that do not necessarily match changes in the funding needs of programs. Dedicated taxes also constrain the government’s ability to adjust spending priorities as circumstances change.

Since 2001, the Province has a strong record of investing in housing, and has built more than 14,000 new affordable housing units and another 4,176 are currently planned or under construction across BC. BC Housing is providing capital and operating costs to develop 32 supportive housing developments on city-owned sites. In addition, the Province has purchased 26 single-room occupancy hotels securing 1,550 rooms for people at risk of being homeless. Twenty-four of those hotels and approximately 1,400 of those rooms are located in Vancouver.

BC Housing works in partnership with municipalities across British Columbia to develop new housing options for individuals who are homeless or at risk. These partnerships entail a variety of municipal and non-profit contributions including free land, reduced or waived development permit fees and property tax exemptions, and expedited approvals processes. Housing trust funds have been established by local governments and regional districts and have been used as effective tools as part of the package of municipal contributions to provide housing for the province’s most vulnerable.  Examples include the housing trust funds established by the Capital Regional District, the City of Surrey and the City of Vancouver.

In 2011/12, BC’s budget for social housing is approximately $521.6 million, more than four times as much as in 2001/02 ($124.5m).

SECTION B2 – Contains resolutions proposing new policy.


B75         HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION COSTS         North Saanich, Sidney

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the Province to amend the Police Act such that the costs of homicide investigations are borne by the Province and not by the municipal tax payers.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General

Under the Police Act the Solicitor General requires that an adequate and effective level of policing is maintained to ensure public safety. Municipalities are specifically required to provide policing with a police force of sufficient strength to enforce the laws and maintain law and order. Municipalities are expected to prevent, to respond and solve all crime issues within their communities; this includes homicide investigations.

Policing is dynamic, not static, and from time to time all levels of government incur extraordinary expenditures over and above their established police budgets in order to adequately deal with crimes in their communities. There are extraordinary cases where it is unreasonable to expect municipalities to pay these costs.

In the past, the provincial force has assisted municipalities with major investigations. However, municipal governments still have an obligation to pay a share of the costs in these extraordinary cases that occur within their policing jurisdiction. There are other examples where the RCMP enter into cost sharing arrangements with municipalities on major projects and investigations. In the Lower Mainland, municipalities have integrated specialized units to serve multiple jurisdictions and share the costs across those jurisdictions. The Province recognizes that areas outside of the urban core currently do not have the benefit of specialized integrated teams to provide the level of expertise required by some investigations and the ability to share the costs of these investigations. The Province continues to work with the RCMP on integration initiatives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing.

The Province provides significant funding for initiatives that benefit all municipalities and police agencies, such as DNA analysis and the implementation of PRIME. There are also a number of specialized units that the Province subsidizes or funds directly that would otherwise be paid for by municipalities, such as the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit that combats organized crime.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Province to amend Section 257(6) of the Community Charter so that local governments can collect the outstanding taxes owing;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, should a Crown lessee default upon its local taxes, the Province will compensate the local government for this loss of revenue.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development appreciates the difficulties that some municipalities experience when trying to collect unpaid taxes on leased Crown land. While section 257(1) of the Community Charter prohibits the use of tax sale as a remedy, there are other mechanisms available that can be used to recover outstanding taxes. Section 252 of the Community Charter, Recovery of Taxes by the Legal Remedy of Distress, allows for a collector to levy the amount of taxes due by distress. Recovery of taxes by distress can be used to collect on outstanding taxes before they become delinquent which provides a municipality an opportunity to collect before the lease is cancelled by the Province which consequently forces the taxes to be written off under section 257(6).

B89         ILLEGAL DUMPING          Sunshine Coast RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ministry of Environment be requested to make additional financial and human resources available to assist with enforcement, monitoring and clean up of illegal dump sites on Crown land.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations

Illegal dumping on Crown land is an ongoing problem that will continue to require cooperation and coordination between provincial agencies, municipalities and regional districts. The Ministry of Environment can and does enforce action where illegal dumping results in pollution. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is responsible for the management of Crown land assets and will continue to penalize illegal use of Crown land. Municipalities and regional districts, through authorization of solid waste management plans under the Environmental Management Act manage municipal solid waste and as such play a key role in preventing illegal dumping through the provision of recycling and waste disposal options for citizens.

The Ministry of Environment (Ministry), through the Conservation Officer Service and the Environmental Protection Division will continue compliance and enforcement of regulations against illegal dumping on Crown land, in collaboration with regional districts, municipalities and electoral areas. The Ministry is not aware of a systemic increase in illegal dumping across the province, but acknowledges there may be local issues in parts of the province. Where the municipality or regional district can identify this, the Ministry is willing to work together with local government to determine causes, for example a lack of suitable or cost effective recycling or disposal options, and appropriate mitigation, and/or enforcement actions. At this time the Ministry of Environment does not foresee a need for additional financial or human resources, and is willing to partner with local governments on a case by case basis to resolve specific illegal dumping challenges.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development be requested to grant local governments the authority to implement natural area protection tax exemption programs.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed as Amended

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development

This is the first time that regional districts have expressed an interest in having the authority to offer a Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program; as such this is not an area that is currently under consideration for legislative review. The Province would be willing to work with regional district representatives to consider questions such as the priority of legislative change for regional districts and applicability of the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption modelled on the Islands Trust to regional districts and the success of the Islands Trust Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM recommend that the Province of British Columbia develop a science-based nature and climate conservation strategy, that would concurrently accomplish:

  • allowing more species to survive and adapt to a changing climate;
  • protecting the natural carbon stores in our primary and intact forests and other ecosystems;
  • protecting water and other vital ecosystem services that support both human well-being and a conservation-based economy; and
  • supporting sustainable natural resource management that is based on prioritizing the needs of the ecosystems.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Environment

While there is no single strategy that addresses the full spectrum of issues raised by this resolution, the B.C. Government is using a wide range of approaches (including legislation, policies, procedures and guidance) to maintain BC’s biodiversity and ecological services in light of human settlement, development, and climate change. Legislation such as the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Oil and Gas Activities Act and the Fish Protection Act include significant provisions to achieve these goals.  Additionally, there are a number of more recent initiatives that directly address the intent of this resolution. These initiatives include:

Climate Change Adaptation – The majority of the scientific community agrees that the primary strategy for protecting biodiversity in an era of rapid climate change is to focus on connectivity. The Government of British Columbia currently protects about 14% of the land base. About 74% of this protected area is forested contributing to both carbon stores and ongoing carbon sequestration. Many other jurisdictions have some level of protection on both land and water within B.C. including the federal government, regional districts, municipalities and private landowners. Together this represents a sizable portion of the province and is a significant contribution to landscape connectivity and the future of biodiversity and carbon management in British Columbia.

Forest Carbon Offset Protocol – The Government of British Columbia has developed this protocol to guide the design, development, quantification and verification of B.C. forest carbon offsets from a broad range of forest activities on private and public land in B.C. Forest carbon is an increasingly significant component of climate action, and the protocol ensures that forest carbon offsets developed in B.C. meet domestic and international quality standards.

Water Act Modernization and Water Science Strategy – Ensuring enough water is set aside to protect stream health and healthy ecosystems; improving water security, efficiency, and conservation; and regulating water during times of scarcity are key elements of the Province’s proposed new Water Sustainability Act. In addition, Government is leading development of a Water Science Strategy to better link science-based information and knowledge with decision-making, policy development and operational practice.

Conservation Framework & Species at Risk Task Force – The Conservation Framework is British Columbia’s approach for maintaining the rich biodiversity of the province. The Framework provides a set of science-based tools and actions for conserving species and ecosystems in B.C. The report of the Species at Risk Task Force was released on July 4th, 2011. The report makes 16 recommendations addressing legislation, environmental management, First Nations engagement and public engagement. See response to Resolution B41 for more detail.

Environmental Mitigation Policy – The BC Ministry of Environment, along with the Environmental Assessment Office and other natural resource management agencies, is developing a new environmental policy to support a consistent approach to mitigating adverse impacts on valued environmental assets from development projects and activities. This policy and associated procedures will help guide staff and provide consistent advice and information about environmental mitigation to statutory decision-makers who make authorization decisions in the provincial government. This policy is currently being drafted based on research on similar policies and analysis of feedback on the initial concept from stakeholders and First Nations. Following another opportunity to review and comment on the draft, the Environmental Mitigation Policy will be revised, and then applied on a trial basis in 2013. To be effective, environmental mitigation actions, including ecological restoration, need to consider climate change.

The approaches highlighted here engage the full range of government agencies charged with the management of BC’s natural resources and are believed to be a more effective approach than a single Ministry strategy.

B97         PROTECTION OF LAKES & RIVERS        Cowichan Valley RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province of British Columbia restore funding and resources to provincial ministries to ensure the adequate protection of BC lakes and rivers, or provide the enabling regulatory authority and financial means to local governments to properly protect and manage lakes and rivers at the local level, should they so wish.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed as Amended

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations

Government’s 2010 Lakeshore Development Compliance project identified low compliance with the requirement to obtain an authorization under the Water Act for modifications to the lakeshore or meet bylaw requirements under the Riparian Areas Regulation. The report also suggested that there are significant impacts to aquatic habitat as a result of non-authorized shoreline work. The provincial government is currently reviewing the results of this study to determine what can be done to enhance the effectiveness of current programs and regulations which protect the Province’s lakes and rivers.

Protection of lakes and streams is also being addressed through the following initiatives:

The provincial government continues to support local collaborative processes and mechanisms such as the Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) and the Cowichan Watershed Board to improve agency coordination, public outreach and compliance.

The Riparian Areas Regulation provides that named local governments must use the tools available to them in Part 26 of the Local Government Act to not approve or allow stream or lakeside development unless riparian fish habitat is maintained, protected, and/or provided with an opportunity of recovery. The Province, through its Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement with UBCM and DFO, continues to work with local governments to meet their regulatory requirements in bringing in and implementing effective bylaws, in particular ensuring their ability to deal with non-compliant development activities that impact stream and lakefront fish habitat.

The Province is developing a new Water Sustainability Act that builds on and will replace the current Water Act. Under the proposed new act, provincial water objectives will be established and the opportunity to employ different governance approaches and new tools such as water sustainability plans will be enabled to support increased collaboration and participation.

The Province is also reviewing Part 7 of the Water Regulation (Changes in and about a Stream). A primary objective of the review is to identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the regulation to ensure that water quality, fish and wildlife habitat are not compromised.

Funding for additional staff and resources must be evaluated in the context of the provincial government’s overall priorities.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM and the Coastal Community Network:

a)              develop a mechanism(s) that ensures meaningful consultation with Canada and British Columbia with respect to all sustainability policies and processes affecting life in the Pacific Coast Watershed; and

b)              establish an appropriate platform for community-to-community relations between the urban/rural local governments and First Nations at an appropriate regional level across the Pacific Coast Watershed.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed and Referred to ECD Committee

B107      WATER REGULATIONS                  Tahsis

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the provincial government to provide funding opportunities that reflect the true cost of the upgrades to aging infrastructure particularly in the rural areas of the province of British Columbia.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed as Amended

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Health; Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development

The Ministry of Health has been working with the UBCM Small Water Systems Working Group which was tasked with presenting recommendations on addressing the challenges faced by small water systems at the September 2011 UBCM Annual Convention. Complete exemptions from the drinking water health safeguards in the Drinking Water Protection Act are unlikely, but the province will look into UBCM proposals to fine tune approaches under the legislation that are appropriate to smaller populations.

UBCM leads the Gas Tax Agreement which is a tri-party agreement between the federal, provincial and local governments of BC provideing both federal and provincial funding for local government water systems.  The GTA will see a federal transfer of $1.6 billion over the course of 4 years to 2015 in support of various infrastructure projects for all local governments, including drinking water.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the federal government to provide a grant in lieu of taxes on federal lands to libraries, in recognition of use by persons living on federal lands located within the library service area.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed and Referred to FCM

Other Response:  Not yet available.

B118      TAX CREDITS FOR EMERGENCY RESPONDERS              Parksville

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UBCM once again lobby the provincial and federal governments to amend the Income Tax Act to provide unpaid volunteer emergency responders with a meaningful tax exemption as  sign of recognition and appreciation for the voluntary service and government cost savings they provide.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Finance

The design of the tax system balances fairness, competitiveness, efficiency, administrative simplicity and economic objectives.

Since 2001, BC has reduced provincial personal income taxes for most taxpayers by 37 per cent or more. When all taxes are considered, British Columbians generally have one of the lowest tax burdens in the country.

The Minister of Finance reviews provincial taxes and considers changes each year in preparation of the provincial budget.

Federal Response:  Public Safety Canada

I wanted to highlight that as part of the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our government introduced a Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit for volunteer firefighters who perform at least 200 hours of service for their communities. I have enclosed an excerpt from Budget 2011 providing additional information on this new tax credit.

Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit – In recognition of the important role played by volunteer fire fighters in contributing to the security and safety of Canadians, Budget 2011 proposes a Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit to allow eligible volunteer firefighters to claim a 15-per-cent non-refundable tax credit based on an amount of $3,000.

An eligible individual will be a volunteer firefighter who performs at least 200 hours of volunteer firefighting services in a taxation year, for one or more fire departments, that consist primarily of responding to and being on call for firefighting and related emergency calls, attending meetings held by the fire department and participating in required training related to the prevention or suppression of fires.

Volunteer service hours performed by a firefighter or a fire department will be ineligible if the firefighter also provides firefighting services, otherwise than as a volunteer, to that fire department.

An individual who claims the credit will be required to obtain written certification from the chief, or a delegated official, of the fire department confirming the number of hours of eligible volunteer firefighting services performed. The details of the certification process will be developed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

An individual who claims the credit will be ineligible for the existing tax exemption of up to $1,000 for honoraria paid by a government, municipality or public authority in respect of firefighting duties.

Governments, municipalities and public authorities who pay firefighters amounts in respect of their services as volunteers will be required to report those amounts to the CRA as part of their annual reporting of remuneration paid.

This measure will apply to the 2011 and subsequent taxation years.

Web link:  http://www.budget.gc.ca/2011/plan/anx3a-eng.html#toc4

B127      DFO REFERRAL TIMES                  Alert Bay

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the DFO adopt a policy committing the department to provide a response to referrals within 30 days of receipt of any development referral from a local government or first nation government;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any referral which goes unanswered after 30 days of receipt be deemed to be approved.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Federal Response:  Not yet available.

B129      CONTROL OF WATERSHEDS   Ladysmith

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request the provincial government to develop a funding program that facilitates local government acquisition of both the watershed and adjacent land for those local governments with water systems on privately owned land;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all activities in watersheds used for drinking water be subject to final approval and control by affected local governments and the Ministry of Environment (MOE), and that MOE be legislatively required to ensure that the quality and quantity of water in watersheds meet provincial health requirements.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Environment

Ministry of Environment (MOE) acknowledges the importance of source water protection in ensuring safe drinking water regardless of the source location.

Lead responsibility for drinking water protection and the Drinking Water Protection Act (DWPA) is the Ministry of Health and regional Health Authorities. MOE has no statutory authority under DWPA.

In practice, MOE and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) work with Health Authorities to ensure a multi-barrier approach to drinking water protection. For MOE, this includes responsibility for human health related water guidelines, standards and policies and monitoring of source waters. Source water protection is also a key consideration in the Groundwater Protection Regulation, Environmental Management Act and implementation of Living Water Smart. MFLNRO has a strong coordinating and decision making role within BC’s watersheds.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province of BC recognize that any land provided to the local government as park land or conservation areas through rezoning, subdivision or other land development process that:

i. is in excess of that which is required by current regulations; and

ii. meets the definition of forest land as provided in the BC Forest Offset Protocol (including instances in which multiple parcels are bundled together to meet minimum area thresholds)

is additional to the baseline scenario, and constitutes a valid avoided conversion project with a verifiable quantity of carbon that can be counted against a corporate emissions inventory;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if the local government is a regional district, that regional district can allocate monies raised for the purpose of purchasing offsets toward the maintenance of the additional parkland provided, rather than raising the necessary maintenance monies through a parks maintenance tax requisition, or other commonly used fees and charges.

Convention Decision:  Not Endorsed

B140      REGIONAL GROWTH STRATEGY              Comox Valley RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that section 848 of the Local Government Act be amended to include, as the last portion of the definition, the following text: “…and all elected officials of electoral areas within the area of jurisdiction for which a regional growth strategy is prepared”;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that section 857(3)(a) of the Local Government Act be amended to include the following text (bold and underlined):

“(3) For the purposes of this section, before third reading of the bylaw to adopt a regional growth strategy, the board must submit the regional growth strategy to:

(a) the council of each municipality and the electoral areas committee, if any, all or part of which are covered by the regional growth strategy, …”

Convention Decision:  Not Endorsed

B144      ANIMAL ABUSE                 Victoria

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request the Province of British Columbia to demonstrate its commitment to the welfare of animals in the province by providing appropriate funding to allow the BC SPCA to effectively prevent and respond to incidents of animal abuse.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Agriculture – Public health and safety and the welfare of animals are important to the Government of British Columbia and as such the 2011 amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act will ensure a greater level of protection for the animals of British Columbia.

The Ministry of Agriculture is not in a position to financially support the BC SPCA at this time.

The Ministry of Agriculture encourages the all local governments to work with the BC SPCA to address animal welfare issues locally.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province of BC be requested to provide additional testing facilities or implement other options that would allow testing to be done in the community where the senior resides.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General

DriveABLE is a specialized assessment tool used for only a small percentage of driver fitness assessments and so it is not feasible to always ensure testing is available in the community where the senior resides. DriveABLE assessments require the expertise of a trained healthcare provider (typically a kinesiologist or an occupational therapist) to facilitate each assessment.

The current driver medical fitness process is similar to many other medical assessments – the initial screening is done at the community physician level, but specialized assessments often need to be done at a regional level, where the specialist equipment and skills are located.

However, the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is looking at opportunities to further expand the number of locations where DriveABLE assessments are available. We are also working with our existing DriveABLE service providers to look at options for providing mobile assessment services or using satellite locations.

A mobile unit has been added on a pilot basis to address the needs of drivers in the Sechelt area. We continue to work with service providers to provide increased access in other areas of the province.

B151      BEE IMPORTATION         North Saanich

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the Province to protect the health of island bee populations by restoring the former quarantine that has managed the importation of honey bees and prohibited the importation of used equipment and combs to Canada Food Inspection Agency standards from mainland North America to Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Gulf Islands.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture established that there was no longer a qualitative difference in the honey bee disease profiles of the Vancouver Island Bee District and mainland bee districts. In the absence of scientific justification, the application of restrictive honey bee shipping conditions to Vancouver Island that exceeded those used in other bee districts, and between provinces for bee imports, was deemed “legally non-defensible” by the Ministry of the Attorney General.

In May 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture introduced a set of shipping conditions applicable to all Bee Districts which include colony inspection by ministry-appointed Apiary Inspectors prior to shipment, permit issuance and mandatory registration of apiaries. Colony inspections meet or exceed standards accepted by other provinces.

The Ministry of Agriculture believes that the new shipping conditions allow beekeepers to realize economic opportunity while maintaining an effective program to prevent the introduction of new bee diseases in all parts of the province and mitigate their impact.


THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED that the UBCM supports the establishment of a conservation strategy within the national marine conservation area reserve (NMCAR) in the Vancouver Island Shelf marine region encompassing Mozino Point in the Tahsis Narrows, Nootka Sound urging quick action to proceed in the conservation of this marine area while respecting First Nations interest in the area.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Federal Response:  Environment Canada

I appreciate your support for a marine conservation strategy for the west coast of Vancouver Island. Environment Canada is making progress toward the designation of a marine national wildlife area around the Scott Islands. My department intends to continue coastal marine conservation efforts following designation of this protected area, including working with Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Parks Canada, the Government of British Columbia and First Nations to develop a science-based plan for the protection of marine and terrestrial species associated with the landscape and seascape of coastal British Columbia.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM lobby the provincial government to introduce legislation to ban indoor tanning for youth under the age of 18.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Not yet available.

B159      FOR-PROFIT CLINICS    Victoria

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request that the Province of British Columbia:

1. Establish a moratorium on any further expansion of private, for-profit surgical and MRI/CT clinics;

2. Require an end to public funding of for-profit clinics, including the contracting-out of day surgeries and the provision of Health Authority contracts to for-profit clinics;

3. Require full accountability and transparency on the part of for-profit clinics by ensuring that they submit to all oversight and regulatory mechanisms currently applied to public facilities operating under the B.C. Hospital Act; and

4. Expand public capacity by requiring the development of publicly funded and administered outpatient facilities;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that UBCM continue to research and monitor the threat to universal public health care posed by the operations of private, for-profit surgical and MRI/CT facilities in its member communities.

Convention Decision:  Not Endorsed

B160      FOOD SAFETY AT COMMUNITY EVENTS              Alert Bay

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request that all health authorities develop reasonable policies that will allow the sale and provision of foods prepared in non-commercial kitchens and which are not cost prohibitive or otherwise prohibitively onerous to the average citizen.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed as Amended

Other Response:  Vancouver Coastal Health

In Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) we acknowledge the importance of local charitable and fundraising events to communities and have asked staff to work closely with charity, church, and community groups to ensure that events proceed under reasonable and appropriate levels of oversight. However, while our involvement is mostly limited to providing food safety information we also recognized that markets, church dinners and other community-based events featuring food are not inherently safer or more dangerous than any other food service establishments.

A study by the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health entitled: “Church/Community Suppers: What is the Evidence for Risk of Foodborne Illness?” concluded that 3 to 16% of foodborne illness outbreaks investigated by public health are associated with community events including church suppers, fairs, potlucks, picnics etc. Poor food handling practices in the home and at the site where the food was prepared and served were implicated in most outbreaks. A more recent survey conducted in Fraser Health and VCH concluded that the majority of residents do not use thermometers to verify internal food temperatures and that more than one third of the respondents indicated that they prepare foods while ill.

Current public healthy legislation uses outcome/performance based language to enable appropriate discretionary regulatory approaches. Health authorities are expected to exercise risk based flexibility and common sense in the application of the legislation in our communities. The present permit application process is consistent across Health Authorities and allows for a quick health risk assessment and feedback, determines the necessity for a food permit and identifies optional ways of arriving at the desired food safety outcome.

Rather than requesting health authorities to create new policies, the preferred option would be for local governments to sit down with regional health authorities and establish a dialogue that will help to satisfy community needs but with also ensure public health safety. We would be pleased to do so for local governments within our jurisdiction.

B165      ANNUAL HALIBUT QUOTA                                                                                                                                         Capital RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the federal government purchase or lease the required commercial halibut quota to establish a permanent annual guaranteed base limit and season for recreational fishermen of 1 halibut per day 2 in their possession, February 1 to December 31 of each year.

Convention Decision:  Not Endorsed

B170      COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS            Sechelt

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the federal and provincial governments be requested to suspend implementation of CFL bulb legislation until the health and environmental issues are resolved.

Convention Decision:  Not Considered – Automatic Referral to Executive

B171      TRAPPING REGULATIONS           Sunshine Coast RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations be encouraged to develop and promote educational programs on alternatives to trapping wildlife and the importance of signage, particularly within urban interface areas in order to protect humans and pets from unnecessary injury.

Convention Decision:  Not Considered – Automatic Referral to Executive


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM encourage the provincial government to amend the regulations in order to apply the BC Carbon Tax to the coal industry.

B174      BC HYDRO WIRELESS SMART METERS               Colwood

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that a moratorium be placed on the mandatory installation of wireless smart meters until the major issues and problems identified regarding wireless smart meters are independently assessed and acceptable alternatives can be made available at no added cost to the consumer.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response:  Ministry of Energy & Mines

The Province is not prepared to place a moratorium on the mandatory installation of wireless smart meters. The Clean Energy Act established a legal requirement for BC Hydro to install smart meters for all of its customers by the end of 2012. The Province is satisfied that BC Hydro’s smart meter program will deliver significant benefits to ratepayers by making the power grid more efficient and reliable.

The BC Centre for Disease Control has confirmed that BC Hydro’s smart meters emit radio waves at a power density that is significantly below the legal limits governing exposure to radio frequency. Given the current scientific evidence, the consensus of public health practitioners is that at current exposure levels smart meters and other radio-frequency emitting devices, such as baby monitors and fm radio, do not constitute a threat to the health of the public.

BC Hydro is working closely with the office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia to ensure that BC Hydro meets legislated privacy standards and that appropriate privacy and security measures are built into the entire smart grid system.

Other Response:  BC Hydro

Like many utilities around the world, BC Hydro is addressing the challenge of aging infrastructure and meeting increased demand by upgrading its electricity grid. BC Hydro’s investments in smart meters and a smart grid are key steps in modernizing our electricity system, improving its safety and reliability, and helping customers save energy and money.

Smart meters and a more modern grid will save families and businesses about $70 million over the next three years alone through lower rates. In the longer term, the program returns $1.6 billion in benefits over 20 years. Since BC Hydro is publicly owned, those savings will be passed on to customers, keeping BC Hydro’s electricity rates among the lowest in North America.

BC Hydro understands that some customers have questions about the Smart Metering Program and that’s why we are committed to working with those customers on a case-by-case basis, ensuring we can continue to provide those customers with safe, reliable electricity. BC Hydro has a dedicated customer service team that answers every question about the program.

Since smart meters were announced in 2007, BC Hydro and the Province of British Columbia have included smart meters in our planning documents and province-wide communications. We have informed customers about the program through open houses, letters, emails, bill inserts, newsletters, BC Hydro’s website and call centre, advertising, and pre-installation communications. The majority – more than 99 per cent – of BC Hydro’s customers accept smart meters as a necessary upgrade.

Health – Smart meters communicate using radio signals which are common to our everyday lives and have been used safely for decades. Wireless technology is used by radios, TVs and emergency services to name a few. Wireless electrical and water meters are being used by utilities across the province including Nelson Hydro, FortisBC, City of Penticton, City of Abbotsford, City of Grand Forks, City of Richmond, City of Chilliwack, and the Village of Queen Charlotte.

Smart meters are safe as confirmed by health and science authorities including BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Health Canada and the World Health Organization. BC Hydro’s smart meters communicate for an average of one minute per day. Exposure to radio frequency during a 20-year life span of a smart meter is equivalent to the exposure during a single 30-minute cell phone call. BC Hydro’s smart meters’ radio frequency profile is well below Health Canada’s exposure limits, and less than 50% of the precautionary limits set by Switzerland, the country with the most rigorous standards in the world.

Privacy & Security – BC’s Information & Privacy Commissioner released a report into the Smart Metering Program’s compliance with BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and confirmed that we have taken the right steps to protect our customers’ information. As part of that report, the Privacy Commissioner has issued 14 recommendations for how we can build on our existing processes even further and we will be acting on those recommendations.

The report states that our customers’ information is secure. Smart meters provide BC Hydro with the same information about customer electricity use that we have today – except more frequently and accurately. We also collect more information about the overall status of the electricity grid which helps us manage the entire system and reduce waste.

Protecting our customers’ privacy is a top priority. As we do now, we will continue to protect the privacy of our customers by:

• Implementing a system with multiple layers of security, starting with encryption similar to online banking.

• Working closely with the Privacy Commissioner’s Office.

• Managing customer information according to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. BC Hydro does not share personal information with third parties, unless required by law.

In additional to Health Canada, Provincial Health Authority, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the Smart Metering Program must meet rigorous standards set by a number of federal and provincial agencies including: North American Reliability Council, Environment Canada, Industry Canada, Measurement Canada, and the BC Safety Authority.

We are moving forward with the Smart Metering Program because it is a necessary long term investment for BC Hydro customers and for the province as a whole. A safe, reliable electricity system is the backbone of our economy. Investing today in modern meters and a smarter grid will help keep our system safe and reliable while ensuring that we can meet our province’s electricity needs moving forward.

SECTION C – Part 2 – Contains resolutions that were referred to other resolutions and as a result were not admitted for debate.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request the Province to reimburse local governments the actual costs of housing federal and provincial prisoners that are held in local government owned RCMP detachment buildings.

C9            COASTAL FERRY SYSTEM         Alert Bay

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the provincial government to treat the coastal ferry system as equivalent to the provincial highway system and to support the minor routes to the same degree that provincial highways and other transportation infrastructure is supported by government taxes, grants and subsidies.

C10         DELINQUENT TAX ON CROWN LAND     Alert Bay

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province of BC undertake to pay all delinquent property taxes owed by properties which are under crown lease tenures.

C11         BC HYDRO FAIR COMPENSATION           Nanaimo RD, Sunshine Coast RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM lobby the Province of British Columbia to explore the taxation of BC Hydro and implement a fair and equitable method of compensation to all local governments for the provision of local and regional services.

C14         TAXATION OF BC HYDRO             Comox Valley RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM lobby the Province of British Columbia to explore the taxation of BC Hydro and implement a fair and equitable method of compensation to all local governments for the provision of local and regional services.

C15         FUNDING FOR PUBLIC LIBRARIES           North Saanich

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM petition the Province to restore public library funding so that the ratio of provincial grants to municipal tax levies is restored to the ratio that existed in 1985.

Other Response:

C17         PACIFIC AQUACULTURE REGULATIONS              Strathcona RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Fisheries & Oceans Canada be requested to expand the current license templates for marine finfish, shellfish and freshwater aquaculture to include specific operational compliance standards that serve to mitigate the potential for negative impact of aquaculture operations on adjacent land uses;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Fisheries & Oceans Canada be requested to defer approval of new aquaculture operations pending written confirmation from local governments that such operations are in compliance with local government regulations;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Fisheries & Oceans Canada be requested to convene a meeting of British Columbia coastal communities, regional districts, local governments and First Nations to provide more clarity on the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations.

C18         MAINTENANCE FUNDING FOR BC PARKS            Sunshine Coast RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ministry of Environment be requested to direct additional funding toward the year-round maintenance of BC Parks sites.

C24         COMMUNITY BASED SENIOR CARE       Victoria

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the provincial government to significantly enhance BC’s system of community-based seniors’ care, in order to ensure timely access to the full range of public services that support seniors to age and die with dignity.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the provincial government to significantly enhance BC’s system of community-based seniors’ care, in order to ensure timely access to the full range of public services that support seniors to age and die with dignity.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government provide funding for enhanced seniors’ outreach and health prevention programs (including information services, social networking, and age-appropriate exercise programs) and to support better coordination among existing services.

C36         HERITAGE FUNDING       Victoria

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Province of British Columbia to renew its commitment to heritage conservation in the following manner:

1. Invest a further $10 million in the Heritage Legacy Fund;

2. Restore community support for both local government and community heritage organizations such as Heritage BC;

3. Adopt the draft Provincial Heritage Strategy;

4. Restore the budget of the Heritage Branch; and

5. Resolve the Heritage Properties question.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Province to renew its commitment to heritage conservation through the five recommendations identified in Heritage BC’s report, “A Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program”:

• adopt a provincial heritage strategy;

• restore the Heritage Branch budget;

• resolve the heritage properties question;

• restore community support; and

• invest in the Heritage Legacy Fund.

SECTION C – Part 3 – Contains resolutions that were referred to the Area Association due to being of a regional nature.

C41         RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY              Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of BC Municipalities work with the Coastal Community Network to provide a one stop resource management assessment and referral delivery authority co-chaired by elected leaders drawn from local government and First Nations leadership resident on the coast.

AVICC Response:  Executive invited CCN representatives to the January 13, 2012 meeting to provide an update on the status of the CCN and discuss the proposal for regional committees and how they would interface with AVICC and UBCM.  CCN Chair Tony Bennett, Director Ken McRae and staff member Patrick Marshall took the opportunity.  Executive agreed in principle to support CCN’s proposal to hold a workshop to discuss the form, function and relationship with CCN, AVICC, NCLGA and UBCM in having regional resource management committees and that time on the 2012 AVICC AGM & Convention program be provided to report out the results of the workshop.  AVICC and UBCM staff met with Patrick Marshall February 1.  The CCN workshop has been scheduled for March 27/28 in Victoria.  AVICC staff will attend.  Workshop results will be reported back to AVICC members Saturday, April 14 at 3:00 pm.



THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AVICC petition the governments of Canada and British Columbia to approve the $15 million rail infrastructure application for capital works on the Victoria to Courtenay rail line submitted by the Island Corridor Foundation in October 2010 to ensure the future of Island rail transportation and restoration of VIA passenger rail service between Victoria and Courtenay;

AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that an emergency meeting be arranged between the Island Rail Corridor Foundation and all appropriate and applicable parties including the Premier and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure of BC to request their immediate assistance in coordinating this appeal with the Federal Government of Canada.

AVICC Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Provincial Response: 

On June 28, 2011, Premier Clark announced that the Province will contribute $7.5 million for E&N Passenger Rail in an announcement made in Nanaimo.  Provincial funding will be provided in two parts. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will contribute up to $500,000 for an engineering inspection on the condition of the approximately 40 rail bridges and trestles on the line.  The balance of $7 million will help the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) repair the track and ensure that it is safe for passengers. The ICF has identified that it needs $15 million to complete essential repairs. The provincial funding of $7 million is conditional upon the final bridge inspection and ICF matching the other $7.5 million that it needs to ensure all repairs are completed and passenger train service can safely resume. The Bridge and Engineering Trestle Engineering Audit was released in late-February.

Federal Response:

Island Mayors and Chairs and ICF representatives met May 24, 2011 with MP James Lunney, Nanaimo-Alberni and MP John Duncan, Vancouver Island North.  Meetings were also requested with Honourable Denis Lebel, Federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and the Honourable James Moore, Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.  A meeting was held on August 3, 2011 in Victoria with Minister James Moore with 11 AVICC and ICF representatives in attendance.  Regrettably Minister Lebel’s busy schedule has prevented a meeting with AVICC and ICF representatives.

LR4         VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY LABOUR DISPUTE                   Alberni-Clayoquot RD

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that if the current negotiations involving the labour dispute at Vancouver Island University results in a failure to resolve the situation, that the Premier of the Province of BC impose a cooling off period with the resumption of all classes at the university, and further that a mutually agreed upon mediator or arbitrator be appointed by the Province.

AVICC Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Response:  Immediately following the wrap-up of the 2011 AVICC AGM & Convention, Chair Stanhope prepared and faxed a letter to Premier Campbell’s office.  The dispute was settled by Monday following the close of the 2011 AGM & Convention.

SECTION LATE RESOLUTIONS – Contains resolutions that met the late resolution criteria and were admitted for debate. 

LR6         OIL PIPELINES & TANKER TRAFFIC IN BC            Victoria

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request that the National Energy Board, Port Metro Vancouver, and all appropriate federal Ministers ensure that any applications to expand the amount of oil transported by pipeline or tanker in British Columbia undergo:

a. the highest degree of environmental assessment; and

b. meaningful public consultation, including direct engagement with affected municipalities, regional authorities and British Columbia First Nations.

Convention Decision:  Endorsed

Federal Response:  Natural Resources Canada

When the National Energy Board receives applications to expand federally-regulated pipeline systems, the applications are subject to environmental assessment and regulatory review. In addition, regulatory review processes for major projects are open, and parties including municipalities, regional organizations and Aboriginal groups can submit evidence and express their views.

For example, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipelines project (the Project), which proposes to increase the amount of oil transported by pipeline or tanker in British Columbia, has been referred by the Government of Canada for a panel review. The Project will be thoroughly reviewed by a three-member Joint Review Panel (Panel) to best protect the interests of all Canadians by satisfying the requirements of both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the National Energy Board Act. The Panel’s broad environmental assessment mandate covers the review of the pipeline, the terminal, the docking facilities at Kitimat, and the marine transportation portion of the pipeline project, including mitigation measures to address potential incidents on land and in the water.

Similarly, should Kinder Morgan decide to proceed with a plan to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline, they would file an application with the National Energy Board. You may be assured that an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline would be subject to environmental assessment and regulatory review, and as I noted above, the regulatory review process for major projects is open to interested parties to submit evidence and express views.

Environment Canada

Environment Canada’s mandate includes the provision of advice for projects where a federal environmental assessment is required pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. At this time, the Department is not in receipt of a specific application by Kinder Morgan Canada to expand operation of its TransMountain Pipeline. The National Energy Board is the lead agency in Canada responsible for federally regulated pipeline proposals, and would be notified should Kinder Morgan Canada decide to pursue such an expansion.

If a proposal to expand the existing pipeline capacity were to be received, it would likely be subject to environmental assessment requirements under the Act. Opportunities for public and Aboriginal consultation would be identified as part of any environmental assessment conducted under this act. Further information is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at:  www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/index-eng.cfm

Environment Canada would contribute expert advice to any environmental assessment required. In completing our review, we would consider the potential impacts of the proposal on air and water quality, wildlife, species at risk, and other matters related to the Department’s mandate. Environment Canada has specific responsibilities to respond to marine environmental emergencies and provide related environmental advice and assistance to lead response agencies. My department has expertise in spill modelling and emergency response countermeasures that it makes available to these agencies.

Other Response:  Port Metro Vancouver

Port Metro Vancouver shares UBCM’s desire to ensure the safe and secure movement of all cargo and commodities through the port. This includes the management of potential risk associated with the transportation of liquid bulk, including crude oil, through the port.

Any project undertaken within Port Metro Vancouver’s jurisdiction undergoes an environmental and project review assessment at a level appropriate to the potential environmental risk or as defined by the applicable legislation. In fact, all projects within Port Metro Vancouver jurisdiction undergo some form of environmental review regardless of the presence of legislated triggers.

The Vancouver Airport Facilities Corporation’s proposal to construct a jet fuel receiving terminal and pipeline to the airport is the only application that Port Metro Vancouver is currently reviewing for projects that would expand the amount of oil transported through the Port by pipeline tanker. This project is undergoing a harmonized federal/provincial review that includes comprehensive environmental assessment and consultation with First Nations and the public. It (and other significant proposal for new or expanded oil transport through the port that Port Metro Vancouver may receive) will also be required to go through the Port’s Project Review Process, a process that is analogous to a municipal development review and that covers many issues not addressed by environmental legislation.

If you are interested in learning more about Port Metro Vancouver’s environmental and project review processes, please visit us at:  http://portmetrovancouver.com/en/projects/ProjectReviewandPermits.aspx

The AVICC acknowledges that we are grateful to live, work, and play on the traditional territories of the 
Coast Salish, Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Kwak-Waka’wakw Peoples