Penticton city council members attended their first day of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention on Sept. 23 in Vancouver.
According to a city media release, they attended five programs which were considered notable.
The program called Financing Reconciliation: Supporting Inclusive Governance in B.C. talked about how in 2018, members endorsed resolution B150, which calls on the province and federal government to identify approaches to better finance local government and First Nation service delivery in ways that support implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The session was very full and very informative. It spotlighted the governance models that various regional districts are adopting to form coalitions with First Nations. It was an all day forum with an eloquent closing speech by Chief Stewart Philip,” said Coun. Julius Bloomfield. “He spoke of it being time to finish the wedding planning and for governments and First Nations to walk down the aisle.”
This session brought together representatives from First Nations, local governments and academia to consider opportunities and next steps to advance new approaches to financing reconciliation. The session also featured general updates on Indigenous relations in B.C.
In the Modular Housing Tour program, attendees were invited to join BC Housing and their non-profit housing providers on a tour of a number of sites in Vancouver to see how tenants and neighbourhoods have been positively impacted by the Rapid Response to Homelessness initiative created in 2017. It created 2,000 modular supportive housing units as an immediate response to the growing issue of homelessness in communities across B.C.
As part of this initiative, BC Housing and the City of Vancouver partnered to create 600 of these units in Vancouver.
In a half-day session called Tools, Funding & Resources for Local Governments, attendees had the opportunity to meet with representatives from over 25 agencies that provide tools, resources, funding or other supports that help local governments to increase capacity and undertake local planning, projects and development.
The Fire Ops 101 event was facilitated by the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters and provided elected officials and city managers with better insight into what firefighters provide their communities and why they need necessary resources in keeping everyone safe.
Finally, the BC Mayors’ Caucus was an opportunity for mayors to get together and discuss common issues and concerns.
The convention runs until Sept. 27.
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