Mayors from across British Columbia are going to gather in Penticton for a series of meetings that will focus on issues facing communities.
The gathering will also give the mayors the chance to forge policy agreements to bring forward to the Federal and Provincial government, to explore means of mutual support in the delivery of municipal services; seek economic benefits through shared resources and to pursue joint economic development.
Town of Golden Mayor Christina Benty will be one of the mayors attending the event.
“This will be the inaugural BC Mayors Caucus. It is the result of a number of conversations about the need for an annual meeting of Mayors from across our province, similar to meetings held throughout the world by local government leaders, to discuss issues facing all of our communities,” Benty said.
This opinion was shared by Mayor Greg Moore from Port Coquitlam who said, “Local Governments, large and small, face many of the same challenges, we need to work together, to learn from each other to make positive change in our communities.”
One of the areas Benty hopes will be discussed is finding issues for municipalities.
“Municipalities own, manage and operate nearly two thirds of Canada’s core public infrastructure and the funding gap is growing at an unbearable rate,” Benty said. “As well, we are also experiencing an ever broadening mandate as senior governments offload responsibilities in an array of areas without providing the resources to provide those services.”
Benty feels this type of gathering is important because it will give the mayors the chance to develop a voice which will be heard.
“This will be an opportunity to discuss key issues and share best practices. Most importantly, I hope to see the development of a strategy to move forward with an untied voice on our common issues,” she said. “This initiative in no way is meant to take the place of the great work done by organizations such as the UBCM and FCM, and the group intends to work with both organizations. With so many participants, this is probably best done face to face.”