Unique in Canada, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) has existed for more than 100 years.
Its annual convention provides a special forum for local government councillors or directors, MLAs, senior provincial bureaucracy, business leaders and labour representatives to meet in a non-partisan environment available nowhere else in British Columbia.
The attendees are all serious about their business and there are dozens of workshops, seminars, consultations, meetings to attend and networkings established.
It is hardly a junket — there is no time for fun.
As a first time participant, it was all new to me, but I came away with the sense that almost everyone elected at the local government level is serious, dedicated and I was constantly impressed by the depth and perception exhibited in questions and comments.
I was constantly thinking: “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The convention considers and endorses/rejects resolutions brought by member local governments reflecting local problems or needs.
The resolutions have no binding effect on any higher level of government. They are expressions of sentiment.
The marijuana decriminalization resolution was brought by the community of Metchosin.
It elicited considerable debate and a wide range of impacts were raised. Opinion was broadly divided.
Most would have preferred that it not have come up.
It most certainly was not a publicity stunt as your editor intimated.