After the NCLGA passed the Four-Year Strategic Plan in September 2014, we named 1) communication between other like-minded organizations; and 2) the completion of resolutions; top priorities. This renewed commitment to resolutions seemed to resonate with other area associations.
At their Annual General Meeting in Naskup this year, the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG) made changes to their constitution and bylaws, effectively altering how they approach resolutions from here on. Each year, their membership will now vote for 1 to 5 resolutions to be forwarded to UBCM in September as priorities. This year, their membership chose 5 robust resolutions they felt could benefit every single member community in the event they were acted on and completed.
Other area associations passed similar resolutions to the NCLGA’s. Resolutions asking for better mental health and addictions resources was passed at 3 other area associations. Similarly, victim services funding was a concern shared by 2 other area associations, as was recent changes to the BC Fire Services Act. The NCLGA is identifying ways that the area associations can move forward together at UBCM, and how we can combine our voices to speak to causes we all feel passionate about.
The Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC) also brought forward a number of resolutions that matched with NCLGA’s priorities in the coming year. The City of Victoria brought forward resolutions that touched on the proposed Site C dam and the National Inquiry into Missed & Murdered Aboriginal Women. Rural out-patient care was also identified as a priority by Tahsis, and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District identified stable, provincial funding for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations as a need.
At the NCLGA’s board meeting prior to the May AGM & Convention, we received a presentation from the local SAR team that had outlined that very problem – there was no stable funding available for SAR teams in Northern BC, and thus, they have to rely on year-to-year based grant funding form the Provincial Government. This specific limitation, we learnt, greatly limited their ability to plan financially and strategically for team training.
Another resolution that NCLGA communities came together on this year was the Support for the Forestry Industry resolution. Through research, we learnt that Council of Forestry Industries has already done a fair bit of work to date lobbying for many initiatives called for in the resolution. We plan to move forward with them, working to lend our voices to the call. Likewise, OBAC is working on policy papers for this specific topic. We will be working through our government channels to share these papers with influencers who can move our issues forward within the Provincial Government. Finally, we will be requesting meetings with the appropriate Ministers at UBCM and at other occasions so that our Board may directly voice the concerns of our communities.