Council, the CAO and I just returned from a busy week at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Vancouver.
The convention is a chance for the mayors and councils of B.C. to meet with each other, and with provincial government representatives. Every year, UBCM is a great opportunity to make sure Williams Lake is in the forefront of government’s mind, and to network with other municipal officials.
During the week, in addition to debating resolutions, Council met with the Premier and a number of cabinet ministers to discuss the New Prosperity mine, Cariboo Memorial Hospital capital improvements, the Community Forest application, crime reduction, aboriginal reconciliation, and grant opportunities. We were appreciative of MLA Barnett joining us at our meeting as well. The City shared an Excellence in Partnerships award with the Esk’etemc First Nation, the Cariboo Regional District and its local governments for the Truth and Reconciliation event held in Williams Lake in May.
In addition to those meetings, as a member of the Rural B.C. project steering committee, I was involved in three presentations: to the premier, cabinet’s rural caucus, and at a clinic for delegates to advance our rural development strategy. We were pleased to hear the premier talk about the importance of rural B.C. in her speech to convention delegates. I also presented to the Mid-Sized Community Forum delegates, which was an opportunity to emphasize the resilience of Williams Lake. The B.C. Mayors Caucus held its fourth meeting, with 124 mayors attending. This is an excellent opportunity to share best practices, and to speak to the provincial government with a unified voice when it comes to municipal priorities.
If you missed the budget meeting on Sept. 12, I invite and encourage you to come to the second meeting at the Fire Hall at 7 p.m. Sept. 30.
This will be a broad discussion about City finances, and how Council incorporates feedback into the budget. We want to hear from you!
Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.