VIDEO: Andrew Weaver calls for reform of local government

‘Corrosive influence’ of union, corporate donations should be banned

WATCH: BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver, MLA Oak Bay-Gordon Head speaks at the annual UBCM in Vancouver. http://ow.ly/j8dY30ftedw

Posted by BCLocalNews.com on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver called for a new approach to local politics the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Wednesday, by reforming campaign donations as is being proposed at the provincial level.

Speaking to local politicians from across the province in Vancouver, Weaver called for removing the “corrosive influence” of union and corporate donations from B.C. politics, that he said has contributed to a top-down approach to development at the provincial level.

Weaver is supporting NDP legislation to do the same for provincial parties, replacing them with a taxpayer subsidy that may be partially phased out after four years. That legislation does not extend to local governments.

Weaver gave the example of ski resort development proposals in B.C. Jumbo Glacier Resort was proposed for the Kootenays after “developers got together with government … to market that idea to the people,” Weaver said. The Jumbo project stalled due to local opposition and went more than 10 years without provincial approval.

Another ski resort proposal at Valemount was proposed locally by the same developers, and received approval because it first gained support from the local community and First Nations, Weaver said.

UBCM delegates supported the idea of campaign finance reform, with several noting the pressure on local officials from property developers and civic worker unions to influence their decisions. But their resolution asking the B.C. government to extend provincial rules to local governments was referred to the UBCM executive for more study after several objections were raised.

One objection was that extending the provincial law to municipal governments may entail municipal taxpayers paying a subsidy for local elections based on the votes they received in the previous election. One delegate pointed out that would give a huge advantage to incumbent mayors and councillors, effectively freezing out challengers for council or regional district seats.

Delegates voted in favour of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps’ amendment to rule out public subsidies, but that didn’t satisfy everyone.

Maple Ridge Coun. Craig Speirs said local governments need to develop their own recommendations, to protect independent slates. North Cowichan Coun. Al Siebring objected to the idea of “one size fits all” regulations for small communities and cities the size of Vancouver.

The effect of third parties such as municipal unions who exert influence without donating money was also cited as an issue not addressed in provincial legislation.

Want more on UBCM?

Just Posted

The Smithers Airshow Society has flown the coop

Insurance rates, lack of volunteers grounded future airshows in Smithers but search & rescue benefits.

Telkwa Coal meeting for the neighbours

Allegiance Coal hopes to have a larger open house in the first quarter next year.

Babine Forest Product’s fine appeal not successful

The company has been ordered to pay the $1.01 million fine after the 2012 Burns Lake explosion.

Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako continues to raise LNG pipeline concerns

Wood fibre use and spruce beetle concerns. TransCanada amends Coastal GasLink pipeline route.

Northwest figure skaters get special training in Smithers ahead of KlaHowYa

Smithers club looks forward to welcoming over 200 skaters from across the North Dec. 1-3.

Run, hide, fight — surviving an active shooter situation

A former Kelowna cop teaches how to survive an active shooter situation

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

Ambulance design changes urged after B.C. man falls out, dies

A coroner’s jury makes recommendations after hearing about death of Ebony Aaron Wood

Most Read