Council at UBCM – Update

Members of Council attended the following meetings during Day Four of UBCM.

Meeting with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General (AG), Hon. David Eby

Council requested that the Ministry work collaboratively with our local government to ensure the safety of our citizens is considered in sentencing and bail condition decisions.

Penticton resolutions endorsed by UBCM

B60 – Addition of Drug and Alcohol Facilities and Beds – it was resolved that the Province fund significantly more licensed rehabilitation facilities and beds in every municipality to enable all those who seek assistance in recovering from addictions and opportunity to beat addictions.

Also endorsed at UBCM was the following resolution of interest, put forward by the City of Prince George: B88 – Clean-Up of Needles and Other Harm Reduction Paraphernalia – it was resolved that UBCM request ongoing provincial funding to local governments to cover the cost of cleaning up needles and drug paraphernalia in their communities.

Penticton resolutions up for endorsement at UBCM today

B186 – Building Act, Innovation Commitment – it was resolved that the Province outline and explain the review process to accept and evaluate innovative building proposals.

B189 – Inspection of Rooming Houses By Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction – it was resolved that the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction create a policy and an inspection process to ensure the integrity of rooming houses.

Quotes from Councillor Katie Robinson and Councillor Jake Kimberly concerning meeting with AG:

Our time with the Attorney General allowed Council to express its concerns on the matter of sentencing and bail condition decisions.  The current sentiment surrounding what are widely regarded as slap on the wrist sentences is reducing faith in the judiciary, or worse, causing vigilante behaviour.  We must work together to ensure our citizens are safe,” said Penticton City Councillor, Katie Robinson. “City Council and the community are united on the priority of improving public safety.  We emphasised to the Attorney General that crime is impacting our residents and our economy.  Our residents and tourists expect to be safe, and they expect their belongings to be safe also,” said Penticton City Councillor, Jake Kimberley.

Quote from Mayor John Vassilaki concerning UBCM resolution B110 – Voter Registration Waiting Period:

“I was pleased to see a resolution endorsed to amend the relevant legislation to reduce the waiting period to register to vote from six months to 30 days,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki.  “If you’re required to immediately pay taxes towards the upkeep and governance of your community, you should certainly have the right to vote as soon as possible and determine how those taxes will be spent.”

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September 25, 2019

Members of Council attended the following meetings during Day Three of UBCM.

Meeting with Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Hon. Selina Robinson

Council requested the Ministry continue to work closely and collaboratively with the City to support housing needs across income bands.

Penticton resolutions endorsed by UBCM yesterday

B15 – Funding for Design of Cycling Infrastructure (bike lanes) for Municipalities – it was resolved that the Province cost-share not only cycling infrastructure but also the design of the infrastructure, especially as it relates to bike lanes.

B68 – Full Social Support Services for Homeless Housing – it was resolved that the Province ensure all forms of social services (mental health services, addiction services, social assistance services, employment services, etc.), also referred to as “wrap-around services”, are available to individuals housed in homeless housing at the housing site or within a short walking distance.

Quote from Councillor, Judy Sentes:

"In partnership with BC Housing and numerous agencies from across our community, the City has regularly supported local initiatives addressing Penticton's housing shortage," said Penticton City Councillor, Judy Sentes.  "I greatly appreciated our meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Selina Robison, who joined us in a productive conversation concerning the Province's current and future actions on housing solutions for Penticton."

Quote from Councillor, Julius Bloomfield:

“On Wednesday we met with Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, and congratulated her on the B.C. housing actions and construction of new low income housing and transition housing to date in Penticton,” said Penticton City Councillor, Julius Bloomfield. “We urged for the continued management of such housing and the support systems that will be in place to aid those in need to help them on the road to recovery.”

 

Contact:

Mayor John Vassilaki

250-490-1034

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September 24, 2019

Members of Council attended the following convention programs and meetings on Day Two of UBCM.

Mid Size Community Forum

Created for mid-size communities, this forum focused on steps towards reconciliation with BC First Nations, approaches to Indigenous partnerships and included several successful case studies.

Meeting with Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Hon Mike Farnworth

Council requested that the Ministry/Solicitor General review the RCMP Police and administrative support strength provided to unincorporated communities which are served from officers stationed in municipal detachments, to ensure they are meeting the mandate to uphold public safety.

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, Hon. Judy Darcy 

Council requested that the Ministry expedite their work on the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy to provide mental health and addictions care early, close to home and sensitive to Penticton’s needs, and that the Ministry work with Interior Health to identify potential solutions to this ongoing crisis, including psychiatric hospital beds.

Municipal Finance Authority of BC Semi-Annual Meeting

The Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia (MFA) was created in 1970 to contribute to the financial well-being of local governments throughout BC. The MFA pools the borrowing and investment needs of BC communities through a collective structure and is able to provide a range of low cost and flexible financial services regardless of the size of the community.

UBCM Community Excellence awards

The Community Excellence Awards recognize and celebrate UBCM members that have implemented projects and programs that demonstrate excellence in meeting the purposes of local government in BC. The awards are designed to profile promising practices and to create successful pathways and incentives for others to follow. The categories are: Excellence in Governance, Excellence in Service Delivery, Excellence in Asset Management and Excellence in Sustainability.

Quote from Councillor Campbell Watt

“Community safety was captured as a key concern in the 2019 Citizen Survey and has been identified as one of three critical Council Priorities for 2019 through 2021,” said Penticton City Councillor, Campbell Watt. “Tuesday we met with the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy, who promised more treatment solutions locally for those who are suffering as well as the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Hon Mike Farnworth, who signalled more forthcoming support for the RCMP.”

 

Contact:

Mayor John Vassilaki

250-490-1034

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September 23, 2019

Members of Penticton City Council attended their first day at UBCM. The following five notable convention programs were attended.

Financing Reconciliation: Supporting Inclusive Governance in BC - "That we may be good people together"

In 2018, members endorsed resolution B150, calling on the Province and Federal Government to identify approaches to better finance local government and First Nation service delivery in ways that support the implementation of Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This session brought together representatives from First Nations, local governments and academia to consider opportunities and next steps for advancing new approaches to financing reconciliation. The session also featured general updates on Indigenous relations in BC.

Modular Housing Tour

The Province announced the Rapid Response to Homelessness initiative in 2017 to create 2,000 modular supportive housing units as an immediate response to the growing issue of homelessness in communities across BC. As part of this initiative, BC Housing and the City of Vancouver partnered to create 600 of these units in Vancouver. Attendees were invited to join BC Housing and their non-profit housing providers on a tour of a number of these sites in Vancouver to see how tenants and neighbourhoods have been positively impacted by supportive housing.

Tools, Funding & Resources for Local Governments

This half day session provided opportunities for delegates to meet with representatives from over 25 agencies that provide tools, resources, funding or other supports that help local governments to increase capacity and undertake local planning, projects and development.

Fire Ops 101

Event was facilitated by the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters and provided elected officials and City Managers better insight into what fire fighters provide their communities and why they need necessary resources in keeping everyone safe.

BC Mayors' Caucus

The Mayors’ Caucus was an opportunity for mayors to get together and discuss common issues and concerns.

Quote from Mayor John Vassilaki

“Council enjoyed a full first day at this year’s UBCM conference,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki.  “My time at the Mayor’s Caucus meeting was particularly insightful with conversations on alternative methods beyond property taxation for raising municipal budgets being a key focus.  Time was also spent discussing many of the social challenges facing communities across BC and hearing the perspective of other Mayors on the same issues we face in Penticton.”

Quote from Councillor Bloomfield

“The Financing Reconciliation supporting Inclusive Governance session was very full and very informative. It spotlighted the governance models that various Regional Districts are adopting to form coalitions with First Nations. It was an all day forum with an eloquent closing speech by Chief Stewart Philip. He spoke of it “being time to finish the wedding planning and for governments and First Nations to walk down the aisle”.

 

Contact:

Mayor John Vassilaki

250-490-1034