Mayors to step up pressure on province over costs says Kelowna’s mayor

Cities and towns want help with costs they have no control over says Colin Basran.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran

B.C.’s mayors are ready to step up the pressure on Victoria to get the provincial government to address issues they say are driving up costs to their cities and towns that they have little or no control over.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said during a meeting of the B.C. Mayors’ Caucus at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria, there was unanimous support for the move.

And he said the public can expect to hear much more in the not-to-distant future.

“The pressure we’re feeling on our ability to pay for services we provide is a concern,” said Basran, who later identified some of those issues as the cost of policing—a federal/provincial issue—matching wage increases for firefighters to increases in larger centres such as Vancouver, housing and help for the mentally ill and homeless,

Basran said while it would be unfair to characterize Victoria as not doing anything to help municipalities, he said so far the province has “declined” to endorse a policy document unanimously approved by B.C. municipalities two years ago to address such issues.

That policy document addressed many ways municipalities could be helped, including a section on raising revenue from outside sources that former Kelowna deputy city manager Paul Macklem was instrumental in helping craft.

“The policy document addresses things that the province can do to help municipalities curb escalating costs that we have no control over,” said Basran.

He said for many municipalities, it is getting harder to meet the service expectations of residents.

He pointed to issues like mental health and homelessness.

While stopping short of saying it is downloading by the province that has brought on many of the problems cites are now experiencing, the mayor said he is aware that there is an expectation by residents that the cities will deal with local problems.

“These are our people, on our streets,” he said.

But, he added, municipalities need help from higher levels of government and one way that can be delivered is by the province backing the UBCM-approved policy document.

He said the mayors also want to work with the federal government on their Strong Fiscal Futures policy, given Ottawa’s renewed emphasis on issues such as infrastructure, transportation and “green” funding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Three UBC Okanagan students awarded women in tech scholarships

Computer science and math students hope the award will inspire others

Missing Kelowna woman, Cassy Miller found dead

Miller went missing Nov. 6 and was found 10 days later

Rockets break four game losing streak in Edmonton

The Rockets defeated the Oil Kings 3-1

Okanagan Floral Design students create elaborate Christmas arrangements

The students are making the floral arrangements as part of the Homes for the Holidays tour

Reduce, reuse, recycle: Repair cafes gaining popularity in Kelowna

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan’s cafe was held at Okanagan College Saturday

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

Talks broke down between USW and IFLRA, resulting in booking out of provincial mediator

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Most Read