Golden politicians and municipal staff have returned satisfied from Vancouver after the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference.
“It was probably the best UBCM I have ever attended,” said Mayor Christina Benty.
The conference, which combines information, networking, prioritizing, and one-on-one meetings with provincial politicians, brought municipal governments from the entire province together.
The resolution sessions, which are what typically dominate the headlines, were “interesting” said Benty. Resolutions included increasing municipal election terms from three years to four, bring back photo radar for school zones, and a call for provincial revenue sharing.
But it was the private meetings where Golden representatives were able to lobby for issues important to the community.
Golden delegates had a meeting with Premier Christy Clark, primarily to discuss the highway.
“We want to make sure that the Trans Canada Highway, particularly the Kicking Horse Canyon, but also west to the Roger’s Pass, stays on the radar,” said Benty. “I think it was very well received.”
It was also expressed that Golden would like help from the Ministry of Transportation to provide easier access from Highway 1 to downtown Golden. The municipality would like to see some cost sharing. The Kicking Horse Bridge in particular is going to need some upgrades, and Benty says it would be preferable to have it replaced.
They also attended a meeting with Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, Steve Thomson.
“We met with him for a few reasons,” said Benty. “First we wanted to let him know how successful the Fire Mitigation program has been for us. They’ve done a fantastic job.”
Columbia-River Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald was also present for the meeting, which included talks about maintaining some of the recreational roads around Golden, such as the Gorman Lake road.
“I was thankful to have MLA Norm McDonald attend the meeting with Minister Thompson, who indicated that Norm had raised the issue of the recreation roads in the past. This reinforced the importance of access to these areas for locals and tourists,” said Benty.
“All of our meetings went very well, I’m very happy with how they were received.”