News

B.C. Municipalities: Local politicians support four-year terms

Local government representatives vote on a long list of resolutions at their convention in Vancouver Thursday. - UBCM photo
Local government representatives vote on a long list of resolutions at their convention in Vancouver Thursday.
— image credit: UBCM photo

Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention have endorsed having local elections every four years, to match up with provincial votes.

The resolution to extend terms of office from three years to four was supported by 60 per cent of voting delegates, who want the B.C. government to make the change in time for municipal elections in November 2014.

If it is enacted, B.C. would join Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, which have four-year terms for local politicians.

The issue has divided urban and rural communities for years, with some rural councillors calling for shorter terms for what they say is mainly volunteer work with minimum pay. One rural delegate said the idea comes from "professional politicians" in the Lower Mainland, where council pay is higher.

Proponents argue that four-year terms reduce turnover and would increase local election participation by being timed with provincial votes.

The UBCM executive added another argument for the change, noting that several local mayors and councillors were elected to the B.C. legislature in May. The executive called for direction from the province "to avoid governance conflicts, expensive byelections, long absences on council and boards and the double-dipping of salaries."

The UBCM rejected the suggestion of four-year terms at its 2010 convention. It was debated and supported in 2007. Earlier motions supported the current system of elections every three years province-wide.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

B.C. to add rural ambulance resources
 
Report card time for local politicians
 
Delay causes concerns for Penticton students
UPDATED: Prince Rupert RCMP end search for Shawn Martin
 
Human Rights Tribunal rejects smart meter complaint
 
Bloom win trumps travel woes
Cherry Creek is one step closer to becoming a provincial park
 
Building Envelope Project at CHSS continues
 
Electoral Boundaries Commission Act under review

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.