Tuesday September 14, 2021 | VANCOUVER, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
The 2021 Community Excellence Awards were rolled out this morning at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) virtual convention (on Twitter @UBCM with hashtag #UBCM21; convention runs September 14 through 17). UBCM has offered these awards since 2004.
This is the second year in a row that the convention has been held online, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Normally the convention location flips back and forth from Vancouver to Victoria, while in other years also being hosted in accommodation-friendly communities like Whistler.
Two of this year’s winners were from among Vancouver Island municipalities: The District of Highlands (honourable mention for Sustainable Asset Management) and the City of Nanaimo (winner for Excellence in Sustainability).
Videos of the projects from the short-listed candidates are available on UBCM’s YouTube account.
The Community Excellence Awards recognize and celebrate UBCM member First Nations, regional districts and municipalities that have implemented projects or programs that go above and beyond in meeting the purposes of local government in BC. The awards are intended to showcase outstanding initiatives, and share them with other members to implement in their own communities.
The Community Charter and the Local Government Act set out the purpose of local government: provide good governance; deliver services for community benefit; ensure responsible stewardship of public assets; and maintain a sustainable framework. Recognizing these goals, the award categories are:
- Governance – by utilizing decision-making processes and policies that are outcomes-based and consensus oriented, support and encourage citizen participation, are efficient, equitable, inclusive and transparent, and exemplify best practices in accountability, effectiveness, and long-term thinking;
- Service Delivery – by providing effective and beneficial services to the community in a proactive manner and drawing on performance measures, benchmarks and standards to ensure that service delivery is sustainable;
- Asset Management – by developing comprehensive, integrated, innovative and effective approaches to the management of existing and new infrastructure in order to maximize benefits, reduce risk and provide satisfactory levels of service to the community in a sustainable manner; and
- Sustainability – through commitment to the premise of meeting current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs, and incorporating the four pillars of sustainability (cultural, social, economic and environmental) into local government planning, policy and practice.
New category – President’s Choice:
In 2021, a new category was added – the Presidents Committee Choice award. This category recognizes a community the UBCM Presidents Committee believed deserved special recognition for its outstanding response to the pandemic.
The unique circumstances that communities across BC faced during this difficult time brought to light many innovative ways that local governments adapted to the impact of COVID-19.
- GOLD: Municipal Finance Association of BC
- GOLD: Urban Systems
- SILVER: Joint Provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee (GCC)
Excellence in Governance
- WINNER: City of West Kelowna Community Vision, OURWK
Excellence in Service Delivery
- WINNER: City of Surrey Urban Forest Resources for Outdoor Learning
- Honourable Mention: City of Richmond Works Yard – Recycling Depot Upgrades
Excellence in Sustainability
- WINNER: City of Nanaimo Complete Streets Engineering Standards and Design Guidelines
- Honourable Mention: City of New Westminster Seven Bold Steps for Climate Action
Excellence in Asset Management
- WINNER: qathet Regional District Natural Asset Solution for Stormwater Runoff
- Honourable Mention: District of Highlands Sustainable Asset Management
Presidents Committee Choice
- WINNER: City of Coquitlam Community Support and Recovery Plan
Elxn44 ESS candidates: food sustainability on Vancouver Island (September 12, 2021)
BC municipalities get active transportation funding boost (August 7, 2021)