EDITORIAL: No love at UBCM

Province rejects ferry resolution and ignored emergency motion on infrastructure partnerships

Mayors and councillors didn’t get much in the way of joy or love from the provincial government last week during the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual conference.

A resolution was passed unanimously by UBCM delegates asking the government to rescind recent BC Ferries fare hikes and service cuts.

Minutes after the resolution passed, Transportation Minister Todd Stone, a Kamloops MLA it should be noted, kiboshed the idea.

“That’s not going to happen,” he told our reporter.

We thought the resolution didn’t go far enough. The UBCM was asking for a rollback in fares to 2013 rates. They were too high then, as well.

The motion put forward by UBCM delegates came on the heels of a report suggesting B.C. has missed out on more than $2 billion in economic activity over the past decade because of rising fares.

Stone labelled the report “irresponsible” and “unsubstantiated.”

When he wasn’t keeping the socialist hordes away from the gates of British Columbia, Premier W.A.C. Bennett essentially created BC Ferries in the late 1950s. A strike by employees of the private Black Ball Line was the impetus for Bennett’s plan to create a government-owned ferry service.

Bennett saw it as an extension of the highway system. Say that now and watch both federal and provincial politicians run for the hills.

Back to the UBCM last week where delegates passed an emergency motion related to the sharing of tax revenue by the province. This is mostly about infrastructure upgrades and the increasing difficulty municipalities (think Parksville and its water treatment plant) have funding projects.

The emergency motion was thought to be required because Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard says the provincial government has ignored, for 12 months, a report detailing a partnership proposal between the province and municipalities.

No word, no love, from the province on this one, either. Premier Christy Clark didn’t bring any either when she addressed the UBCM on Friday.

Makes one wonder just how serious the provincial government takes the UBCM.

— Editorial by John Harding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Uptick in calls to Haven Society crisis line as restrictions ease

Organization reminds people of their range of services

ICET provides Qualicum Beach with $250K for East Village project

Town expects revitalization plan to attract more developments

COVID-19: Garage sales should follow mass gathering guidelines

City has received variety of queries on the issue

Parksville’s ‘Support Local’ parade celebrates businesses

Approximately 30 vehicles turn out for event

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach man stages concerts for charity out of his garage

Larry MacDougall says reception from neighbours has been heartening

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Missing man thought to be in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP ask for public’s help in locating Kevin Golze, 45

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Telegraph Cove Resort will open June 1 to self-contained campers only

Washrooms, showers and all other amenities will remain closed for now

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Most Read