The City of Quesnel was a perfect four for four with it’s resolutions at this year’s North Central Local Government Association convention in Fort Nelson.
City Councillor Ron Paull was there along with Laurey-Anne Roodenburg representing Quesnel.
Paull says there was a lot of talk about wildfires and two of their resolutions were on that very topic, including a call for the Provincial Government to become the lead agency for developing wildfire protection plans and fuel management.
He basically says it is too expensive for municipalities to take on and as a result not enough is getting done…
“We seem to always see constant downloading to local government and we’re sort of seeing the same thing, not only with wildfire, but with flood. So we’re saying to the Provincial Government we can’t afford to take full responsibility for this stuff, and much of this actually originates outside of the municipal boundaries, but it’s the municipalities with the infrastructure and people’s homes and so on, that are really the victim of that provincial disaster.”
The other resolution on wildfires focused on crime and people illegally accessing restricted fire zones…
“Including trespass, vandalism, looting, theft of personal property, theft of firefighting equipment and supplies and actually it went so far as there were persons caught impersonating wildfire or emergency personnel, so what we’re asking for is that the BC Emergency Act and the Criminal Code of Canada are in need of strengthened language and provisions to specifically and appropriately target and prosecute perpetrators of wildfire crime.”
Paull says another Quesnel resolution that passed focused on basically streamlining the funding application and approval process between the Federal and Provincial governments…
“It’s basically that we need to have the provincial government and the federal government dancing to the same tune, if you know what i mean. There are some bureaucratic hurdles in there that could be eliminated so that the process is streamlined so that we’re not just simply wasting our time, and our money because it costs money to put these grant applications together. We’d like to see that streamlined so that our applications indeed are meaningful.”
The final “made in Quesnel” resolution that got the approval of the roughly 200 delegates was asking the Provincial Government to ensure good oversight of professional associations and professional contractors to employ best practices to protect the public interest.
The resolutions will now go to the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Whistler in September.
Paull says other topics that were discussed over the three days include cannabis, the rural dividend fund, water use and land use to name just a few.