B.C. Municipalities: Local politicians support four-year terms

UBCM convention backs longer terms to match up with provincial elections, an issue that pits rural and urban communities

Local government representatives vote on a long list of resolutions at their convention in Vancouver Thursday.

Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention have endorsed having local elections every four years, to match up with provincial votes.

The resolution to extend terms of office from three years to four was supported by 60 per cent of voting delegates, who want the B.C. government to make the change in time for municipal elections in November 2014.

If it is enacted, B.C. would join Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, which have four-year terms for local politicians.

The issue has divided urban and rural communities for years, with some rural councillors calling for shorter terms for what they say is mainly volunteer work with minimum pay. One rural delegate said the idea comes from “professional politicians” in the Lower Mainland, where council pay is higher.

Proponents argue that four-year terms reduce turnover and would increase local election participation by being timed with provincial votes.

The UBCM executive added another argument for the change, noting that several local mayors and councillors were elected to the B.C. legislature in May. The executive called for direction from the province “to avoid governance conflicts, expensive byelections, long absences on council and boards and the double-dipping of salaries.”

The UBCM rejected the suggestion of four-year terms at its 2010 convention. It was debated and supported in 2007. Earlier motions supported the current system of elections every three years province-wide.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Few details released after body discovered in car trunk

Police say they know the owner of the burnt-out Honda found near Genelle with a body in the trunk.

Rossland City Council sets priorities for remainder of term

Rossland City Council met Wednesday to review its strategic plan leading up to the election.

Spike in vehicle thefts from remote parking lots

RCMP investigating half-a-dozen incidents

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Dryer incident at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read