Keremeos Councillors Gary Thielmann and Arlene Arlow attended the Southern Interior Local Government Association conference held in Penticton April 29 to May 2.
The councillors provided council with summary reports of their convention participation.
Councillor Thielmann reported Lee Mossman, President of CUPE 338 Kelowna, stated small communities could experience a positive economic impact if everyone spent just 10 per cent more in their communities.
Bryan Yu, and Economist with Central Credit Union told convention-goers to expect stable interest rates for another two to four years. He also predicted relatively stable house prices until 2018. Wealthy prairie dwellers will ramp up buying Okanagan and Similkameen real estate as the U.S. dollar rises with respect to the Canadian dollar.
Thielmann reported Telus has undergone rapid expansion over the past five years and has created many job opportunities. Telus General Manager Steve Jenkins expects the company to make big inroads into home health monitoring.
Thielmann also reported an update regarding local election reform from Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Linda Reimer, who discussed election reforms involving finances, election advertising, disclosure statements and compliance and enforcement.
Thielmann also participated in presentations discussing Cross Laminated Timber, West Jet business philosophy, and the South Okanagan Brain Injury Society.
Thielmann also reported that a late resolution to have SILGA request the province to ensure full and robust consultation in the implementation of Multi Materials BC to ensure financial fairness to constituents and maximize diversion rates carried.
Coucillor Arlow listened to a discussion regarding volunteer fire departments in B.C. She reported volunteer fire departments face major issues including declining volunteerism, increasing regulations, increasingly stringent fire underwriters’ rules and regulations, finances and higher public expectations to provide related services.
Arlow reported a common theme at the convention was difficulty amongst southern interior communities in finding and keeping doctors.
Arlow also reported 20 resolutions out of 24 were passed at the conference. The passing resolutions included:
– mine permit applicants to refer to Official Community Plans before receiving permit approval.
– better federal transport regulations for hazardous materials.
– regulations of invasive species.
– reversal of Insurance Corporation of BC’s recent decsion not to fund repairs of municipal infrastructure damaged in motor vehicle accidents.
– a request to allow secondary homes on agricultural land.
– an increase in resources for the Agricultural Land Commission.
– better quality paint for highway lines.
– two requests to exclude medical marijuana operations from farm designations.