Advocacy

Resolutions provide local governments the opportunity to express their concerns, share their experiences and take a united position.

Resolutions: An Advocacy Tool for Local Governments

Local governments make decisions by bylaw or resolution. A resolution is a formal expression of opinion, will or intent. Resolutions are adopted for a number of decisions such as providing staff direction to review the establishment of a new bylaw or authorizing the District to enter into an agreement. 

Resolutions are also an important policymaking tool and are annually presented to regional, provincial and federal local government associations who then lobby the provincial and federal governments to enact change. 

Each year, Council submits resolutions to the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) for consideration at its Annual Convention. If endorsed, the resolutions are submitted to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) which are then presented to its membership at the Annual Convention. Council may also submit resolutions to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), which focuses on local government issues that are national in scope.

EB36 Greater Enforcement for Provincial Invasive Mussel Defence Program

Whereas the invasion of zebra and quagga mussels poses a serious threat to watercourses in British Columbia and the primary vector for invasive mussels is watercraft entering the province;

And whereas the provincial Invasive Mussel Defence Program (IMDP) is the first line of defence and remains grossly underfunded with less than 10 watercraft inspection stations throughout the province;

And whereas the Province has yet to introduce ‘pull-the-plug’ legislation, legislation that requires watercraft owners to clean, drain and dry their vessels or mandatory watercraft inspections for vessels entering British Columbia:

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM ask that the Province increase funding for the IMDP, introduce legislation that requires watercraft owners to clean, drain and dry their vessels when entering BC and establish mandatory watercraft inspections to ensure the protection of our watercourses.

NR41 Riparian Areas Protection Regulation Compliance

Whereas the Riparian Areas Protection Regulation regulates development within a riparian assessment area and a local government cannot approve a development application until an assessment report from a qualified environmental professional (QEP) has been submitted through the Riparian Areas Regulation Notification and approved by the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship;

And whereas the Ministry response time to review QEP reports continues to increase, unreasonably delaying local government development and significantly impacting local economies;

And whereas the effectiveness of the Riparian Areas Protection Regulation relies on local government compliance which is compromised by the Ministry’s lack of resources and inability to respond in a timely manner:

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM ask the Province to grant local governments the authority to accept and review QEP reports for developments within its own jurisdiction.

EB65 Trans-Canada Highway Improvements

Whereas the Trans-Canada Highway is BC’s primary southern east-west corridor and is essential for trade and travel;

And whereas the 400-kilometre section of highway between Kamloops and the Alberta border is home of the most challenging terrain in Canada and is used by up to 12,000 vehicles a day;

And whereas in 2021 the Province committed to $837 million over the next three years to allow traffic to move more safely and efficiently within the corridor, however, several projects identified in the Provincial plan are not yet underway, including the deteriorating RW Bruhn Bridge that poses significant public safety concerns:

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request that the Province initiate projects currently identified in the 2021 “Highway 1 - Kamloops to Alberta – Four-Laning” plan to improve the safety, reliability and capacity of the Trans-Canada Highway

Endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association.

 

NR71 Paid Protestors

Whereas the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every person in Canada has the right to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly as part of a democratic nation;

And whereas lawful protests provide citizens the opportunity to express views and grievances for government to respond to;

And whereas individuals that are recruited and paid by organizations to protest on their behalf create a false perception of public opinion on matters of community interest:

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM ask the provincial government to investigate and lobby for the prohibition of organizations paying individuals to protest on their behalf.

Endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association and Union of BC Municipalities.

EB26 Protection of Waterways from Aquatic Invasive Species

Whereas Canada is home to 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, and the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) poses irreparable environmental, social and economic threats that will cost Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars in lost tourism and economic opportunities, and other unknown costs;

And whereas the spread of AIS is largely connected to human activity, including the unsafe transport of watercraft and floatplanes between bodies of water;

And whereas current government efforts through fines for failing to stop at a BC watercraft inspection station, there is a lack of specific provincial or federal regulation and enforcement that is directed at watercraft owners who fail to prevent the spread of AIS by cleaning, draining, and drying their watercraft before transport;

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial and federal governments adopt increased and stricter enforcement measures for watercraft and floatplane owners including the introduction of a significant fine for watercraft and floatplane owners that fail to clean, drain and dry their watercraft or floatplane before transporting it to another body of water and an increase in the fine issued to motorists who fail to stop and a watercraft inspection station.

Endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association and Union of BC Municipalities.

Provincial Response
 

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Watercraft Government continues to deliver the Invasive Mussel Defence Program and work with partners. Ongoing feedback and recommendations are taken into consideration as part of the programs annual review process. The Ministry recognizes that pull the plug legislation, making it mandatory for boaters to clean, drain, and dry their watercraft, has been successfully implemented in other jurisdictions and this is something under active consideration. The fine for motorists who fail to stop at a watercraft inspection station in BC is 345 and the Ministry is not currently looking to increase this fine amount. Higher fines are unlikely to result in increased compliance as repeat offenders are not common. Floatplanes The potential risk that floatplanes may pose as pathway for the transport of aquatic invasive species is largely unknown. The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force are undertaking a project to assess the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species via the seaplane pathway and develop measures to mitigate this risk. The results from this work will help inform future actions in BC.

 

EB27 Invasive Asian Clams

Whereas invasive Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) are known to threaten the natural biodiversity of lakes by competing with native species for sustenance and space, cause biofouling to water treatments systems, alter water chemistry, and potentially reduce the quality of drinking water;

And whereas the spread of Asian clams will have significant environmental, social, and economic consequences for our waterways, wildlife and communities;

And whereas the Controlled Alien Species Regulation exists under the Wildlife Act to enforce controls for species that pose a risk to people, property, wildlife, and wildlife habitat:

Therefore be it resolved that UBCM ask the Province of British Columbia to designate invasive Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) as a Prohibited Aquatic Invasive Species under the Controlled Alien Species Regulation under the Wildlife Act.

Endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association and Union of BC Municipalities.

 

Provincial Response
 

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Ministry staff are working to update the 2015 provincial risk assessment for Asian clams to incorporate recent changes to their distribution in BC. This work will help inform whether Asian clams may be considered for future listing under the Controlled Alien Species Regulation CAS of the Wildlife Act. Based on research and experiences from other jurisdictions, the impacts of Asian clams on water systems and infrastructure are highly variable and site specific, and they currently do not meet the criteria set by the province to be listed as species for Early Detection Rapid Response. The Ministry is planning additional survey and outreach work in Shuswap Lake and surrounding waterbodies to assess the extent of Corbicula following the detection in 2019. This population is a significant distance from their previously known distribution in BC and indicates a new local introduction. The work is being done in partnership with local Indigenous communities. This includes continuing to promote existing outreach and education programs such as Clean, Drain, Dry and Don't Let It Loose to help prevent the spread of Asian clams.

 

NR42 Protection for Established Snowmobile Recreation Sites or Trails

Whereas many local governments and communities rely on the $299 million dollars the snowmobile industry provides to rural communities in British Columbia for economic stability and development;

And whereas, communities and snowmobile clubs care about maintaining existing meaningful Recreation Sites and Trails Partnership Agreements with the Province for respectful stewardship of the lands, and in particular BC Snowmobile Federation member Snowmobile Clubs are the largest partner of established Recreation Sites and Trails in BC;

And whereas, site level objectives under Section 56 of Forest Range Practices Act (FRPA) have not been established for snowmobile trails in B.C., resulting in a lack of communication or need to include consideration in Forest Stewardship Plans (FSP);

And whereas, only a BC government authorized designated decision maker can set Individual Recreation Objectives for an established recreation trail (site);

Therefore, be it resolved that UBCM ask the B.C. government to allocate the necessary resources to establish the following site level objectives on all new and existing established snowmobile sites under Section 56 of FRPA.

Endorsed by the Union of BC Municipalities.

 
Provincial Response
 

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Setting objectives for individual sites and trails in accordance with Section 56 of the Forest and Range Practices Act is a statutory decision that must consider the unique circumstances of each site or trail. While, snowmobile trails offer valuable recreation and access opportunities, many are also designated resource roads. Effective management must balance both uses. Recreation Sites and Trails branch will continue to work with the BC Snowmobile Federation to evaluate opportunities for recreation objectives on snowmobile trails on a case-by-case basis. As updates to the Forest and Range Practices Act resulting from the passing of Bill 23-2021 are implemented, Recreation Sites and Trails will be working with Ministry of Forests staff to identify opportunities to incorporate recreation values into forest landscape planning including management of access opportunities for snowmobiling.

 

Southern Interior Local Government Association

The Southern Interior Local Government Association is comprised of elected officials from 37 cities, towns, villages, districts and regional districts in South Central British Columbia. The Annual Convention is held in April each year. In 2023, it will be held April 25-28 in Vernon. 

Union of BC Municipalities

The UBCM was formed to provide a common voice for local government. Convention continues to be the main forum for UBCM policymaking. The Annual UBCM Convention is held in September each year. In 2023, it will be held September 18-22 in Vancouver.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities 

FCM is the national voice of municipal governments. Its membership includes 2,000 municipalities. Each year, municipal leaders from across Canada gather to set FCM policy on key issues. The 2023 Annual Convention and Trade Show will be held May 25-28 in Toronto, Ontario. 

Council Resolutions Released from In-Camera

In accordance with section 90 of the Community Charter, municipal councils may close a meeting to the public for specific circumstances. As an example, Council may close a meeting to discuss a human resources matter. 

In certain circumstances, Council may decide to release a resolution from in-camera. Resolutions released from in-camera will be included on the next Regular Council Meeting Agenda to ensure transparency.