Listen Live

Listen Live

HomeNewsPrince George playing a big role at UBCM convention this week

Prince George playing a big role at UBCM convention this week

The Union of BC Municipalities Convention opens today in Victoria, the largest annual gathering of cities, towns and villages in BC.

The massive meeting gives communities across the province the chance to band together and pass resolutions for the provincial government to consider.

This year the City of Prince George is bringing three resolutions to the floor.

At the very top of the agenda, cosponsored by the City of Quesnel, PG will be asking the province to step up and pay for RCMP DNA testing. Victoria has asked communities to pay for part of their own testing, which would cost Prince George over $50,000 next year.

- Advertisement -

Prince George is then one of seven municipalities to co-present a resolution asking for the province to form a comprehensive anti-poverty plan. The UBCM has passed similar resolutions in the past.

The City is also tabling a resolution asking the government to overhaul its non-profit gaming grant system. Despite ballooning gaming revenues, contributions to nonprofits in the form of grants have stayed flat. Other recent changes to the system have also left organizations like the Hart Ski Hill out in the cold, without crucial funding.

Councillor Brian Skakun has been attending the UBCM convention for years, and says passing the resolutions can come easy. It’s how the province responds that matters.

“Lotta times the province comes back with a response saying there might not be funding this time, or they are looking at different alternatives. What I’m really hoping for this time is that the province, especially with an election coming, is going to make some solid commitments.”

In the lead up to the convention, Skakun himself suggested Prince George table a resolution that ask Victoria and Ottawa to share a piece of the upcoming recreational marijuana tax windfall with local governments. The UBCM instead decided to hear a very similar request from Duncan, which Skakun says they will be supporting.

“Can we use some of that tax revenue to offset some of our other programs like RCMP costs, because really the senior governments have to be looking at this as a cash cow and what we really want is to share some of that revenue.”

Notably, another Councillor Murry Krause has been nominated as President of the UBCM. He’s the only one nominated right now, but nominations may come from the floor.

“I think that a Prince George voice on the UBCM is important, to also have Prince George move up into that leadership role, so on behalf of Prince George it would be an honour to be that first person to do that.”

The convention runs all week.

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading