The annual Union of BC Municipalities convention is underway but is a lot different this year.
Like many events, it is a virtual convention due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quesnel City Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, and soon to be First Vice President on the UBCM executive, explains…
“Where we would normally have close to two thousand delegates in a room attending various meetings. We have, I believe the last count was 1,005 virtual delegates this year.
It’s really quite interesting. I chaired a session this afternoon and it is so very odd. All of my panelists were on a screen in front of me, and there is nobody in the crowd watching you.”
Opening ceremonies were held on Tuesday (Sept 22) followed by a session with Doctor Bonnie Henry among other guests.
Roodenburg says more than 200 resolutions will be put forward on Wednesday (Sept 23), as well as several special resolutions from the executive…
“Things like the cannabis taxation revenue sharing agreement that we need to have with the provincial government, talking about recovering and rebuilding public transit in BC. We know every community with public transit took a real hit when public transit was shut down and then allowed to ride for free, and given some of the restrictions that they have they’re still losing money. Some other ones that might be important, especially to our community, things like broadband internet and getting that money that the feds have said they have allocated for connectivity, and a couple of them around local economic recovery, how to support local governments and infrastructure.”
The UBCM convention wraps up on Thursday.
That is when Roodenburg will officially become First Vice President…
“When you start moving up the ladder at UBCM you bring your voice of where your from with you. Even though you represent the entire province, you still bring that voice. So when I think of the North Central Local Government Association, our area is 60 percent of the province, that’s a big voice to bring to the table.”
The UBCM convention traditionally wraps up with a speech from the Premier.
However, with a provincial election now on the horizon, it will be the leader of the NDP that gives the final speech.
Roodenburg says the BC Liberal and Green party leaders will also speak at the convention.