B.C. municipal leaders push for passenger rail extension, restrictions on raw log exports

UBCM delegates urge government, VIA Rail to work together toward providing passenger service from North Vancouver to Prince George

At their annual convention, Union of BC Municipalities delegates September 12 approved a block of resolutions without debate.

Among the resolutions were:

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B14 Passenger Rail Service from North Vancouver to Prince George

The provincial government should be encouraged to work in partnership with VIA Rail to fund and conduct a feasibility study for VIA Rail passenger rail service between North Vancouver and Prince George.

 

B22 Interface Wildfire Funding

The UBCM request that the provincial government provide funding to rural and First Nations fire brigades and fire departments for emergency training, equipment and response capacity with respect to urban interface wildfires

 

B34 Implementation of Water Sustainability Act

The UBCM requests that the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development should work with UBCM and water governance specialists to establish regulations, implement water objectives, and designate areas for water sustainability plans, where needed to ease tensions due to competition between domestic and agricultural water use, source protection, resource extraction and wildfire mitigation.

 

B46 Log Export Policy

The UBCM heard $805 million of unprocessed logs were exported from B.C. in 2017, compared to $278 million exported in 2008.  It said this meant lost opportunities to add value to and create local jobs.

The UBCM resolved the provincial government should enact policy that prohibits raw log exports from B.C. without provincial wood processing needs and capacity first being evaluated and met.

 

B47 Fibre Optic Infrastructure Funding

UBCM delegates resolved to ask the provincial government to provide funding programs to enable small and rural communities to invest in fibre optic infrastructure.

The resolution said fibre optic infrastructure is increasingly necessary to provide advanced technology in community-sustaining sectors such as business development, health, education, government, and emergency response management.

 

B52 Funding for Mental Health and Addictions Services on Riverview Lands

UBCM delegates approved a resolution that Victoria be urged to commit significant additional funds for mental health and addictions services on the Riverview lands.

The resolution said a “lack of adequate treatment and housing resources for British Columbians living with mental illness and addictions places severe financial and social burdens on local communities, contributes to homelessness, and prevents many British Columbians from accessing the support they need to heal, secure safe and stable housing, and participate fully in community life.”

 

B54 Cannabis and Harmonizing Smoking Regulations

The resolution urges the provincial government to extend the prescribed distance from a doorway, window, or air intake in which a person cannot smoke tobacco or an e-cigarette from six meters to 7.5 meters and prohibit smoking in all public parks by amending the Tobacco and Vapour Control Regulations and by ensuring the corresponding distances in the Cannabis Control and Licensing Regulations are the same.

   

The full resolution book is available at:

https://www.ubcm.ca/assets/Resolutions~and~Policy/Resolutions/2018%20UBCM%20Resolutions%20Book.pdf

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