McRae represents Kimberley at UBCM

Union of British Columbia Municipalities meets in Whistler this week

It’s a busy time in Whistler this week as municipal and provincial politicians gather for the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention.

While many municipalities send large delegations of staff and Mayor and Council, Kimberley’s delegation is small — just Mayor Ron McRae. It was decided to save money by not sending staff and while it was left open to Councillors to attend, in the end Councillors decided to save the expense and let the Mayor represent Kimberley.

“It is quite costly,” McRae said in a phone interview from Whistler. “Some communities have their entire council plus staff here. That’s thousands of dollars.”

There are many workshop opportunities and meetings with Ministers that McRae was looking forward to this week.

He has already met with government Ministers around the future of the Resort Municipality Initiative. Kimberley is one of 14 municipalities designated a resort community.

“We have been assured the Resort Municipality Initiative will be place going forward,” McRae said.

Other issues include urban deer, which is a concern growing among other communities, McRae says.

Last year at the UBCM, the government promised a task force on urban deer but that hasn’t materialized yet.

“There’s a plan underway to create that task force but it’s not yet a reality,” McRae said.

McRae also joined the Highway 3 coalition for a session with a group of Ministers. This is a group of highway 3 communities looking for ways to promote the highway as a connector across the province and into Alberta.

He will also attend a session with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in another attempt to convince them to report Kimberley’s tax rates, including the flat tax, in a way that doesn’t skew the data. This has been an ongoing issue for years.

“That should be a very useful session,” he said. “It gives an opportunity to share insights on how we must report the various societies and the flat tax.”