In order to support BCWF members, staff and stakeholders in regional advocacy, education and conservation work, the Access Committee Chair for the B.C. Wildlife Federation, David Oliver, has reviewed the resolutions that were passed at the recent Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention held on September 15 & 16.
A list and excerpts of the 2021 UBCM resolutions supported by the BCWF follows in support of conservation, advocacy and education. Page references refer to the 2021 UBCM Resolutions Book.
2021 UBCM Resolutions supported by the BCWF
UBCM Special Resolutions (SR) (definition available in 2021 UBCM Resolutions Book)
SR2 Forest Management in B.C. (pages 21 – 23)
SR2 is classified as “Community Economic Development,” so it is related to regional sustainability and economic development opportunities for local governments, including concerns of resource-focused communities (p.4).
Background: The Province of B.C. released its Modernizing Forest Policy in BC Intentions Paper and established an independent Old growth Technical Advisory Panel in June 2021.
The UBCM resolved that the Province of B.C. engage and consult with local governments and Indigenous communities as it moves forward to implement recommendations within the Modernizing Forest Policy in BC Intentions Paper, including…old growth designations and deferrals, and recognizing there will be implications and impacts for workers and communities that will require economic transition support.
UBCM Extraordinary Resolutions (ER) (definition available in 2021 UBCM Resolutions Book)
EB17 Abandoned Vehicles on Crown Land (page 37)
EB 17 is classified as “Transportation,” a resolution that requests changes to issues related to transportation.
Background: The enforcement of abandoned vehicles on Crown Land, provincial rights of way and road dedications often involves a number of agencies and little coordinated action, and members of the public can’t easily know who to contact about abandoned vehicles on Crown Land, Provincial rights of way and road dedications.
The UBCM resolved to request that the Province select one Ministry or coordinating body to be responsible for abandoned vehicle complaints on such lands.
EB 17 was brought forward by the Okanagan Similkameen Reginal District and endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association.
EB26 Protection of Waterways from Aquatic Invasive Species (pages 42 – 43)
EB26 is classified as “Environment, a resolution on environmental issues of direct interest to local government and that impact local government operations. These may include product stewardship, recycling, solid waste management, water and air quality, and streamside protection.”
Background: Canada is home to 20 per cent 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. The spread of AIS is largely connected to human activity (including the unsafe transport of watercraft and floatplanes between bodies of water). Finally, despite current government efforts (through fines or failing to stop at BC watercraft inspection stations), there is a lack of specific provincial or federal regulation and enforcement directed at watercraft owners who fail to prevent the spread of AIS by cleaning, draining, and drying watercraft before transportation.
The UBCM 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 at a watercraft inspection station.
EB 26 was brought forward by Sicamous and endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association.
EB27 Invasive Asian Clams (page 43)
EB 27 is also classified as “Environment,” see definition in EB26.
Background: Invasive Asian clams are known to: threaten the natural biodiversity of lakes by competing with native species for sustenance and space, cause biofouling to water treatment systems, alter water chemistry, and potentially reduce the quality of drinking water. The spread of Asian clams will have significant environmental, social, and economic consequences for our waterways, wildlife and communities. Finally, 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.
The UBCM resolved to ask the Province of B.C. to designate invasive Asian clams as a Prohibited Aquatic Invasive Species under the Controlled Alien Species Regulation under the Wildlife Act.
EB27 was brought forward by Sicamous and endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association.
EB28 Watershed Stewardship in British Columbia (pages 43 – 44)
EB 28 is also classified as “Environment,” see definition in EB26.
Background: Watershed management lacks provincial oversight and capacity resulting in inadequate watershed management and consideration in the landscape level planning within B.C. local governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) do not have the jurisdictional authority, capacity or resources needed to properly manage watershed to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of watersheds.
The UBCM resolved to lobby the Province of B.C. to work with local governments and NGOs to define the authorities and responsibilities while providing adequate resources needed to ensure proper watershed stewardship.
EB28 was brought forward by Vanderhoof and endorsed by the North Central Local Government Association.
EB29 Drinking Water Protection and Private Managed Forest Land (page 44)
EB 29 is also classified as “Environment,” see definition in EB26.
Background: The Private Managed Forest Land Act identifies the protection of drinking water, both during and after harvesting, as management objective. Privately managed forest lands located within or close to community drinking water systems mean local governments are limited in their ability to protect and control drinking water supply. The Province of B.C. enacted the Drinking Water Protection Act to ensure the provision of safe drinking water, and local governments have improved treatment of community drinking water with significant financial support of senior government.
The UBCM requested the Province establish programs for local governments to work with private managed forest landowners to assess risks to drinking water systems and priority land acquisition of lands where harvesting is identified as a significant risk to the provision of safe drinking water.
EB29 was brought forward by Cumberland and endorsed by the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.
EB31 Illegal Dumping in Rural Areas (pages 44)
EB 31 is also classified as “Environment,” see definition in EB26.
Background: Dumping on Crown land continues to be an increasing concern in rural and backcountry locations, resulting in hazardous conditions. Local governments and non-profit community groups contribute significant resources to address illegal dumping, even though the Province has the mandate for enforcing illegal dumping on Crown land.
The UBCM resolved to urge the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to increase resources and strategies to address illegal dumping in rural and backcountry areas and on Crown land and strengthen its partnerships with local governments to more effectively combat this growing problem.
EB31 was brought forward by Fraser Valley Regional District and endorsed by the Lower Mainland Local Government Association.
EB32 Illegal Dumping in Electoral Areas (pages 45 – 46)
EB 32 is also classified as “Environment,” see definition in EB26.
Background: Illegal dumping of waste on Crown land and provincial rights of way continues to be a growing problem, particularly in rural locations, resulting in unsightly and dangerous refuse deposits in natural areas. Local governments contribute significant resources to mitigate illegal dumping, and the Province has the mandate for illegal dumping enforcement on Crown land.
The UBCM resolved to urge the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to report on the action of the provincial working group, review resources and strategies for addressing illegal dumping and optimize partnerships with local government to more effectively combat this problem.
EB32 was brought forward by Nanaimo Regional District and endorsed by the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.
EB41 New Provincial Trails Strategy (page 51)
EB41 is classified as “Land Use, regarding planning issues such as parkland, development cost charges, siting, Agricultural Land Reserve, Crown lands, and matters falling under Part 14 of the Local Government Act.”
Background: The provincial government is in the process of endorsing and updating the Trails Strategy for British Columbia (trails strategy) with many proposed changes recommended by the Provincial Trails Advisory Body, including:
- making a commitment to implementing the Trails Strategy for BC;
- updating the vision and building principles;
- increasing Indigenous representation in trail planning and development under the Trails Strategy;
- providing opportunities and benefits for all; and
- developing a world-class trail system; and, ensuring a sustainable network of trails.
The implementation of an updated trails strategy presents a significant opportunity for the Province to support local governments in a number of ways, including through the development of standards and tools, and potentially new funding opportunities.
Therefore, the UBCM resolved to ask the provincial government, as part of the process, to approve and update the trails strategy for British Columbia, to implement more measures, including: adopt the recommendations from the Provincial Trails Advisory Body, and confirm adequate provincial support for the implementation of the trails strategy.
EB41 was brought forward by Revelstoke and submitted directly to UBCM.
EB42 Protection for Outdoor Recreation Opportunities in BC (pages 51 – 52)
EB42 is also classified as “Land Use,” see EB 41 above for definition.
Background: Many local governments and communities rely on meaningful outdoor recreation for economic stability and development and, at the same time, those local governments and communities care about maintaining existing Recreation Sites and Trails Management and/or Partnership Agreements with the Province of British Columbia for respectful stewardship of the lands.
The B.C. government has established broad Forest Range Practices Act (FRPA) objectives under the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation (FPPR) for ten of the eleven FRPA values – they have not established an objective for recreation, which makes recreation the only value without a FRPA objective and leaves recreation out of planning processes.
Only the B.C. government can set objectives within the Forest Range Practices Act.
Therefore, the UBCM resolved to ask the B.C. government to allocate the necessary resources to create the following objective under the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation Part 2 Division 1: The objective set by government for recreation is, without unduly reducing the supply of timber from British Columbia’s forests, to avoid or mitigate any adverse impacts to any recreation site, trail or facility that exists on Crown land.
EB42 was brought forward by Sicamous and submitted directly to the UBCM.
EB45 Watershed Security (pages 53-54)
EB45 is classified as “Community Economic Development,” see SR2 for definition.
Background: Watershed security is recognized as central to the health and well-being of British Columbians with over 80 per cent asserting that ongoing access to abundant clean fresh water in their regions is essential to health, food security, salmon, fire safety, economic well-being, and overall quality of life, both today and in the years to come. The Province of B.C. has committed to lead work to protect clean water through the creation of a Watershed Security Strategy and Watershed Security Fund. The Watershed Security Fund is an essential mechanism for implementing the Watershed Security Strategy and to:
- support local watershed boards and regional partnership initiatives;
- create good, sustainable local jobs in restoration, monitoring, technology and community planning;
- support education and training in the watershed sector;
- build a connection between communities and their watersheds;
- support local tourism and recreation;
- provide sustainable, long-term funding for Indigenous capacity and community resilience, and advance DRIPA through co-governance partnerships with First Nations.
The UBCM resolved to request the Province of B.C. create a dedicated, sustainable, annual funding source for the Watershed Security Fund that provides $75 million annually for community driven watershed security initiatives.
EB45 was brought forward by the LMLGA Executive and submitted directly to the UBCM
EB46 Amendments to the Aquaculture Act (pages 54 – 55)
EB46 is classified as “Community Economic Development,” see SR2 for definition.
Background: Aquaculture is an important economic driver for the Province of British Columbia, particularly Vancouver Island.
The proposed Aquaculture Act must ensure decisions are based on scientific facts and technology, and take into consideration all stakeholder input.
The UBCM urges the Province of B.C. to lobby the federal government to ensure that the proposed Aquaculture Act includes language which ensures that all decisions on the management of aquaculture on the B.C. coastline are based on science and evidence-based information with clear understanding of the advancement in technology, and include all representatives of local or regional communities as stakeholders.
EB46 was brought forward by Campbell River and endorsed by the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities
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