When you read the headlines about the highly publicized UBCM Conference in Vancouver this past week, it’s easy to lose sight of what the value of the conference really is.
One of the top stories to come out of the conference, dealing with licensing for motorized scooters on sidewalks, makes it sound more like a joke than an elite gathering of the province’s politicians.
But the most valuable part of these conferences is what happens behind the scenes, in the rooms that the public and the media are not privy to.
UBCM is one of local governments’ only opportunities to get some face time with the people who decide, not only on provincial policy, but where those highly sought after provincial dollars get spent.
And like it or not, the provincial politicians and their policies have a great deal of impact at a local level.
They are the ones who decide when and where projects on Highway 1 take place.
They’re the ones who decide when we’re allowed to extract gravel from our rivers for flood mitigation purposes.
They are even the ones who decide how often and when we vote for our municipal governments.
It is important to take any and all opportunities to talk to these people to make sure they know what is important to Golden.
How else are they supposed to know unless someone sits down with them, face to face, and tells them?
Golden’s politicians and staff took this opportunity to lobby for the completion of highway projects, better maintenance of the resource roads that connect us to some of our favourite recreational areas, as well as the burden that dyking and flood mitigation places on such a small community.
Putting this many politicians (and media) in a hotel together can sometimes turn into a bit of a circus.
But that does not mean that valuable work is not getting done.
Even though the results of these meetings may not be immediately visible, many future projects will come about as a result of the connections made at conferences such as these, and it is well worth the tax payers minimal dollars to participate.