Day 2 UBCM 2020: Virtual Communication
The second day of the conference kicked off with UBCM’s principal policy session to hear the resolutions to be considered. UBCM successfully ran the first ever virtual session with new rules for resolutions; members moved to accept the new virtual environment and change the way that delegates vote for, speak to, and second resolutions. The first and only extraordinary resolution sought to amend the UBCM bylaws to provide UBCM executives with the authority to enable a virtual annual general meeting and annual convention beyond 2020. This resolution was passed with nearly 100 percent approval, therefore, allowing UBCM to be prepared for the future.
After the policy sessions, the Official Opposition Leader, Andrew Wilkinson, greeted the delegation. With airplane troubles and a last-minute helicopter ride, Wilkinson affirmed his ambition to address the province’s local leaders. The British Columbia Liberal Party is proud of the good faith and support they provided to the Premier, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and the people of British Columbia throughout the pandemic. Wilkinson vocalized his dismay with the decision to launch an election but emphasized his desire to focus on safely rebuilding the economy. In acknowledging an economy that has shrunk by more than 5 percent, a $12.8 billion provincial deficit, and over $6 billion of deferred taxes due soon, Wilkinson assured his plan to work with local governments to rebuild British Columbia.
The Community Excellence Awards provided an opportunity to unwind and celebrate the incredible achievements of British Columbia communities. The award for Excellence in Service Delivery was presented to the City of Surrey for the Surrey Makes PPE initiative. The City supported the transition to manufacturing of personal protective equipment across the community, resulting in $4.6 million in profits, over 400,000 PPE units made, and 100 plus jobs saved or created. Excellence in Asset Management was awarded to Gibsons and the Eco-asset Strategy. The Town of Gibsons integrated natural assets into their asset management planning by quantifying the risk, costs, and municipal service associated with each natural asset. Excellence in Sustainability was awarded to the City of Vancouver for their Rain City Strategy. The Rain City Strategy employs built and natural infrastructure to capture and clean at least 90 percent of Vancouver’s rain fall. The final award, Excellence in Governance, was presented to the City of Kamloops for adopting the Let’s Talk commitment to guide public engagement during the pandemic.
To conclude today’s virtual congregation, UBCM hosted two concurrent sessions on Confronting Systemic Racism in Canada and Economic Recovery. The first session was guided by a diverse panel to discuss systemic racism from the perspective of BIPOC Canadians. Each panelist underscored the importance of acknowledging the existence of racism in Canada and confronting it. Many Canadians fall short of understanding systemic racism and the impact it has on communities. Speakers leaned on the value of communication, which incidentally was mirrored in the second concurrent session on economic recovery. A panel filled with economic development officers from across the province, described how communication was key to discovering the challenges and solutions that best fit their community. Local governments play an immense role in the economic rebuild whether that is through investment, planning, or policymaking. The events of today reminded us of the power of virtual communication with a successful voting session, a live award ceremony to celebrate local excellence, and meaningful knowledge sharing.
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