Tuesday September 19, 2023 | VANCOUVER, BC [Updated 9:50 am]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends | POLITICAL NEWS SECTION
The 2023 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention continues this week in Vancouver, with over 2,000 delegates attending this 120th annual convention.
The 2023 convention theme is “Balancing Act” — recognizing an essential element in the art of governance. The program covers a wide range of topics and issues. [See overall convention profile]
Today’s Day 2 highlights include a speech early this morning by former BC NDP Premier Mike Harcourt who spoke about Strengthening Democracy: Balancing Partisanship.
This afternoon at 1:45 pm there will be a plenary session called Exploring the Health Impacts of Wildfires, including physical and mental.
Presenters will be headlined by Health Minister Adrian Dix, along with UBCM President Jen Ford, and two environment specialists:
- Armel Castellan, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Dr Angela Yao, Senior Scientist, Environment Health Services, BC Centre for Disease Control
The presenters will discuss some of the ongoing research as well as strategies to help protect communities.
UBCM says that the 2023 wildfire season has been declared the most destructive ever recorded (based on sq km burned), though it should be noted that wildfires naturally occur every year; the impacts of a warming climate are considered to be a contributing factor to the severity, duration and extent of wildfires in this decade.
Policy sessions at 3:15 pm today will run concurrently on these topics:
- Modernizing Emergency Management Regulations – with Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness
- Preparing for Future Wildfires
- Climate Action, Forest Management and Your Community
- Policing and Public Safety Modernization Initiative Overview
Excellence awards will be presented at a reception this evening at 5:30 pm.
Delegates are mayors and councillors and regional district directors from around the province. Many MLAs attend, as do deputy ministers and ADMs and a range of experts and consultants.
Keynote speakers this week:
Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, will address the delegates on Friday morning, September 22.
Premier David Eby will deliver a speech at the end of the five-day convention, on Friday morning at 11:15 am for 45 minutes.
- Wed Sept 20 – John Herdman (former head coach of Soccer Canada) 9:25 am for 1 hour
- Thurs Sept 21 – Leader of the Opposition (Kevin Falcon / BC United) – 8:35 to 8:55 am
- Fri Sept 22 – Federal Address by Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources – 10:35 to 10:55 am
- Fri Sept 22 – Address by the Premier (David Eby / BC NDP) – 11:15 am to 12 noon
More to come:
Check back at IslandSocialTrends.ca through the week to see our coverage of various aspects of UBCM 2023.