Council banking on minister meetings at UBCM

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said council hopes to meet with several cabinet ministers at UBCM.

When city council goes to the Union of BC Municipalities Convention (UBCM) in Victoria at the end of September, Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said council hopes to meet with several cabinet ministers.

“We’ve put in a lot of requests for meetings and normally we hear back by now, but we have had no confirmations yet,” Cobb said.

“It seems later this year and we need to prepare briefing notes and all that because you normally only get about 15 minutes when you get there for the meetings so you have to be pretty precise and get your ducks lined up.”

City council has requested meetings with the ministers of Aboriginal relations, energy and mines, forests and lands and natural resources, advanced education, finance, public safety and attorney general, agriculture, environment, health to deal the hospital renovation, jobs, skills and training, natural gas development and housing.

“We want to talk about affordable housing for Williams Lake, expanding programs at Thompson Rivers University, and we want to talk to a couple of different ministries about our greenhouse project proposal with Atlantic Power,” Cobb said, adding council will be making its feasibility study on the greenhouse project public.

“At our last  committee of the whole meeting we agreed to let it become public, but we have to agree to that at the regular council meeting next Tuesday, Sept. 13.”

Cobb along with other northern mayors, regional district chairs and chief administrative officers met in Prince George Friday, Sept. 9, to brainstorm on what they can lobby for collectively as a region when they go to the UBCM.