RDCK at UBCM
September 30, 2014
Thinking regionally for the good of the province
Nelson—RDCK Directors attended the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Whistler last week to lobby fellow local governments and the Province on a number of issues of both regional and provincial concern. Chief among these were: fire insurance for rural homeowners, broadband for rural areas throughout the Columbia basin, provincial cost sharing for potential disaster mitigation work and the establishment of a provincial disaster relief fund.
"The government was really engaged with us at this UBCM convention," said John Kettle, RDCK Board Chair. "The Ministers and staff came to our meetings looking for solutions and listened when we provided such. Protecting rural homeowners with competitive fire insurance and having the ability to mitigate natural disasters to save lives and property is a win for everyone."
The RDCK Board requested the Province explore opportunities for the Insurance Corporation of BC to offer property insurance coverage to residents in rural areas. Rural fire protection services in BC are at risk due to the Fire Underwriters Survey’s application of urban-based response standards to the fire protection ratings in rural areas.
The RDCK also asked the Province to authorize the payment of up to 50% of the cost to "construct works" approved "to prevent" "imminent" and/or threats of "disasters."
"Over the past few years, many properties in the RDCK have been threatened by or impacted by flooding," explained Kettle. "Our Board believes that by being proactive, government can, in some instances, prepare for and reduce the effect of flood events, such as freshet. We believe that government has a role to play in the protection of residents and their properties and that the cost to do so could be lessened through planning and mitigative works."
This resolution was adopted unanimously by the UBCM delegates.
Another RDCK resolution made it to the floor at UBCM but wasn’t passed by the delegates: that the Province of BC create a disaster relief fund that would be available to all property owners when a disaster results from natural and/or non-human causes.
"The RDCK Board conceived of this concept based on the experience of property owners who have been affected by the tragic Johnson’s Landing landslide, which killed four people and displaced many others from their homes," said Kettle. "Even though we didn’t get this passed on the floor we started what I believe will be a focused discussion where "acts of God" may very well be treated separately from the existing legislation."
RDCK Directors also raised the following issues in their meetings with Ministers and Provincial staff:
• Aggregate proposals in and around residential communities. The RDCK Board requested
the Minister support the implementation of the recommendations contained within the
‘2001 Report of the Aggregate Advisory Council’ regarding improvements and amendments
to the permitting process for aggregate within the Province of British Columbia.
• HB Mine Tailings Facility issues
• A change to the meat regulation status in Electoral Area D to meet the needs of rural
and remote communities.
"Once again, the Directors represented their communities and constituents well," said Kettle. "Our Board will continue to strongly advocate for those issues that concern the RDCK."
Regional District of Central Kootenay
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