2020 Resolutions

1. City of Fernie - Property Tax Assisted Clean Energy (PACE)

WHEREAS retrofitting buildings across BC is crucial to reducing green-house gas (GHG) emissions and meeting our provincial climate targets;

AND WHEREAS upfront costs of retrofitting homes and businesses for climate resilience are cost prohibitive to many of our property owners, and Property Tax Assisted Clean Energy (PACE) lowers barriers to implementing GHG reductions, adding value to buildings and making them more desirable places to live or work;

AND WHEREAS PACE BC is working with interested municipalities across BC to assist in the establishment of a successful province-wide PACE program that meets the needs of residents and that local governments of all sizes can participate in with minimal start up costs or staff time;

AND WHEREAS PACE and the resulting ecosystem of retrofitting programs would create well-paying green jobs during a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a just transition away from fossil fuel infrastructure-related jobs:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UCBM ask the Ministry of Environment, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister of Housing and PACE BC to support BC legislation enabling PACE by third-party administration and confirming the interest of all BC municipalities in having a PACE program when it becomes available in BC.

2. Village of Fruitvale – Commercial Business Recycling

WHEREAS many local governments in BC are committed to promoting environmental sustainability and encourages economic growth through the attraction and retention of commercial business:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM ask the Province to take steps to implement free commercial business curbside recycling collection in local governments across BC to promote environmental sustainability and economic growth within the Province of British Columbia.

3. City of Grand Forks – Additional Resources for Mental Health

WHEREAS substance abuse is considered to be a pandemic mental health disorder across Canada;

AND WHEREAS there are insufficient services available to assist those suffering through this pandemic who want to detox and rehabilitate themselves:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM petition the Provincial Ministry of Health to provide additional resources to fund more services and beds for rehabilitation.

4. Village of Nakusp – Green Energy

WHEREAS Division One, Section 8(2) of the Community Charter states “A municipality may provide any service that the council considers necessary or desirable, and may do this directly or through another public authority or another person or organization”;

AND WHEREAS BC Hydro purchases Green Energy from municipalities, including from the Village of Nakusp, and other corporations such as Silversmith Power and Light Corporation, and that municipalities should have the option to obtain and use Green Energy within their communities to reduce the increasing energy costs applied by BC Hydro for the operation of their facilities and, in addition, to provide an alternate option that has low impact on aquatic eco-systems, habitat, land and communities;

AND WHEREAS the Council for the Village of Nakusp has adopted a proclamation to obtain certified green energy produced locally for all Village owned buildings and infrastructure at a competitive price and that the option to purchase green energy be provided to all municipalities:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM request that the BC Utilities Commission be required to provide availability and options for municipalities to obtain Green Energy through BC Hydro, a cooperative, municipal utility, or other means, and to work with BC Hydro and municipalities with regulatory needs required to meet these goals.

5. City of Nelson – Circular Economy Strategy

WHEREAS the provisioning and management of goods and food consumed by BC communities produces excessive and unnecessary quantities of waste, pollution and carbon emissions that threatens environmental health;

AND WHEREAS the concept of a circular economy provides a vision and framework to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use and regenerate natural systems to help BC communities move towards zero waste;

AND WHEREAS the Province has yet to develop a comprehensive strategy to transition BC’s economy to a circular one:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM request that the province of BC develop a provincial circular economy strategy.

6. City of Nelson – Commitment to a Province Wide Strategy to Manage Construction and Demolition Waste

WHEREAS construction and demolition waste comprises approximately 2.8 million metric tonnes of materials annually in British Columbia, and about one-third of municipal solid waste disposed in the province;

AND WHEREAS the materials disposed could have been resold, reused or recycled, they represent sources of embodied carbon, and deconstruction provides six times more job opportunities;

AND WHEREAS recent research in just Metro Vancouver suggests the value of salvageable wood at $343 million annually, and the addition of other materials and other regions would radically increase this number of value:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to develop a plan, including changes to regulations, provincial procurement policy, and economic and industrial policy, to significantly reduce construction and demolition waste.

7. City of Nelson – Right to Repair

WHEREAS the longevity of items is decreasing because manufacturers are deliberately designing products to be disposable;

AND WHEREAS citizens and businesses are deterred from repairing their belongings by companies that claim ownership over the intellectual property in their products, fail to provide parts or other aspects that make it hard to repair items:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM ask the Province of BC to draft and enact Right to Repair legislation.

8. City of Nelson – Funding for Regional Housing

WHEREAS effectively addressing housing on a regional scale requires a collaborative effort between regional municipalities and regional districts;

AND WHEREAS since the provincial government mandated regional housing assessments must be completed every 5 years it is more important than ever that local governments are supported financially so they can implement these mandates:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM petition the Province to implement a consistent and sustainable funding model for municipalities and regional districts for the implementation of findings of regional housing assessments, so as to increase housing availability across BC in both municipalities and regional districts.

9. City of Nelson – Agroforest Specific Tenure License

WHEREAS work is underway throughout the Province of BC to reduce wildfire risk to communities through prescribed fuel treatment on Crown land forests;

AND WHEREAS much of this work involves shared fuel break of fuel reduction in areas that are commonly restricted from a timber harvesting perspective;

AND WHEREAS agroforestry practices can maintain a state of low flammability in these areas and allow for economic benefit to area residents:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM request that the Province of BC develop an Agroforest Specific Tenure License.

10. Central Kootenay RD – COVID Restart Grant Funds WITHDRAWN

11. Central Kootenay RD – Issuance of Water Licenses

WHEREAS local governments can be reliant on surface water sources to support development;

AND WHEREAS water licenses can take the province years to issue:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Province of British Columbia increase funding for the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development to provide the resources necessary to reduce the time required to process water license applications to less than two (2) years.

12. East Kootenay RD – BC Ambulance Rural Service

WHEREAS BC Emergency Health Service (BCEHS)’s ambulance service is a vital component of life safety and access to healthcare for those who live and work in small rural communities, often a significant distance from fully-equipped hospitals;

AND WHEREAS the BC Ambulance Service within rural BC is under critical paramedic shortage and often there is not adequate availability of paramedics, leading to significant shift vacancies and underserviced ambulance for prolonged period of times. This concern is a long standing issue, demonstrating that the current model is unsustainable due to the high degree of training and certification required and lack of meaningful and adequate compensation provided:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the UBCM petition the Province of British Columbia to undertake a review of the BC Ambulance Service, specifically in the rural areas, to find a solution and systematic way of managing recruitment and retention of paramedics and delivery of service in rural communities.

13. East Kootenay RD – BC Hydro Pole Rental Sales

WHEREAS high-speed internet is essential for the social and economic well-being of smaller rural communities and being without it brings significant challenges in today’s digital economy;

AND WHEREAS hydro poles reach the majority of homes in rural communities, internet service providers (ISPs) often rent space on infrastructure such as poles owned by BC Hydro to attach and carry the transmission lines to provide service to their customers;

AND WHEREAS pole rental fees are often cost prohibitive in the business model for rural broadband and are harming broadband deployment, network upgrades, and competition in rural areas, contributing to the digital divide between urban and rural areas:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Province of British Columbia, and BC Hydro as a crown corporation, establish affordable pole rental rates in a fair and equitable manner to accelerate the roll-out of broadband connectivity in rural communities.

14. East Kootenay RD – Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Sector Recyclables

WHEREAS the BC Recycling Regulation does not include Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) recycling in requirements for Extended Producer Responsibility programs, and therefore recyclables are not accepted in the Recycle BC system or other stewardship programs;

AND WHEREAS packaging and paper products utilized in the ICI sectors form a significant proportion of recyclable materials in our communities, and continue to result in significant collection and recycling costs borne by local governments, and recyclable materials potentially destined for landfills:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM petition the Province of British Columbia to amend the Recycling Regulation to require inclusion of the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional sectors in the Packaging and Paper Products Extended Producer Responsibility programs.

15. Kootenay Boundary RD – COVID Restart WITHDRAWN

16. Kootenay Boundary RD – Local Control of Land Use Practices

WHEREAS local governments are provided with statutory responsibility for land use planning within their jurisdictions and provincial government crown land planning processes, including resource and watershed management, generally involve local governments as referral agencies only at late stages of those planning processes;

AND WHEREAS early and on-going local government involvement in provincial land use processes would provide an opportunity for improved intergovernmental collaboration and better informed decision-making:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM request that the Government of BC initiate a process intended to establish improved government-to-government collaboration with local governments regarding land use planning initiatives on crown land.

17. Kootenay Boundary RD – Mental Health and Addiction Support During the Pandemic

WHEREAS the negative mental health and addiction impacts on British Columbians associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have further intensified the pre-existing challenges faced by community mental health services to keep pace with the needs of our communities, as evidenced by several past UBCM-endorsed resolutions;

AND WHEREAS the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for additional provincial funding resources to support the increased demand on already-stretched community services, including emergency services and front line workers:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Government of BC increase funding for additional community mental health and addiction resources to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

18. City of Rossland – Standard Procedure for Wildlife Rehabilitation

WHEREAS the current process for making decisions to rehabilitate or euthanize all species of juvenile wildlife is inconsistent throughout the Province of BC and is left to various local authorities’ personal opinion, some of whom lack training or experience in wildlife rehabilitation or assessment;

AND WHEREAS people have a responsibility because the most common reason for orphaned wildlife is human-caused (road kill, hunted, habitat interference), and the general public does not want orphaned wildlife to be left to die or shot as is often the current practice:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the BC provincial government support the work and informed decision-making by Conservation Officers to consider (not require) orphaned and /or injured juvenile wildlife for rehabilitation, by providing up-to-date information on licensed rehabilitation facilities located in the Province;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the BC provincial government work with licensed wildlife rehabilitators in BC, wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and conservation officers to develop a standardized procedure for the assessment of suitability for rehabilitation, capture, emergency treatment, and transfer to a wildlife rehabilitation facility for orphaned and injured wildlife.

19. Village of Kaslo – Aging in Place

WHEREAS “aging in place” keeps seniors close to home, where their partner, family or friends are better able to provide loving support, which improves quality of life for all;

AND WHEREAS the gap between rural heath care needs and capacity is growing;

AND WHEREAS concentrating health services in regional centers transfers a significant economic burden to individuals in the form of transportation costs, increased energy consumption and housing in-affordability;

AND WHEREAS our elderly, and all patients, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not as “users”:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT UBCM call upon the Government of British Columbia to recognize the importance and benefits of aging in place in rural communities by committing to increase the number of care beds through the expansion or building of facilities to meet the growing need.