New Westminster politicos hit the road for the Union of BC. Municipalities’ convention

Making roads safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists is on the City of New Westminster’s agenda at this week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

Several city councillors are attending the convention, which is being held from Sept. 10 to 14 in Whistler.

During the week, delegates at the UBCM convention will attend sessions on a wide variety of topics, hear from leaders including Premier John Horgan, network with officials from around the province and vote on a variety of resolutions put forward by cities across British Columbia.

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New West council members will be supporting several resolutions that have been put forward by the City of New Westminster, including asking the province to provide municipal governments with access to an emergency alert system so they can broadcast critical and potentially life-threatening alerts to residents and to study the impacts of changes made in July 2016 to the Strata Property Act. New Westminster will also affirm its support for the government’s plan to create 20 community health centres across British Columbia.

New Westminster has also put forward a motion asking support for modernization of the Motor Vehicle Act, by moving forward on the recommendations in the Road Safety Law Reform Group of B.C.’s position paper, Modernizing the BC Motor Vehicle Act, which aims to enhance safety for all road users. Council discussed the matter in March (see the Related box for a link to Record’s original story for more details on what being proposed).

New Westminster is asking that the UBCM urge the provincial government of British Columbia to amend the Tobacco and Vapour Control Regulations to extend the distance from doorways and entrance to buildings where people can smoke from six metres to 7.5 metres (which would make it consistent with the city’s bylaw) and to prohibit smoking in all public parks. With cannabis becoming legal in Canada as of Oct. 17, the city also wants the province to ensure that the same distances are also included in the Cannabis Control and Licensing Regulations.

Councillors Jaimie McEvoy and Lorrie Williams will be attending the convention from Monday to Friday, while councillors Bill Harper and Chuck Puchmayr will be in Whistler from Tuesday to Friday.

According to the city clerk’s office, Coun. Patrick Johnstone isn’t attending the UBCM, but will be attending a meeting on Monday, Sept. 10 and then returning on Sept. 12 to present an award. Mayor Jonathan Cote and Coun. Mary Trentadue aren’t attending the convention.

Ruby Campbell, the city’s manager of intergovernmental and community partnerships, is attending the conference Tuesday to Friday, while chief administrative officer Lisa Spitale will attend a meeting on Tuesday with other city administrators from around the province, where she will be discussing a collaboration model with BC Housing for the provision of affordable housing.


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