The annual Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention is taking place in Vancouver from Sept. 23-27, 2019. (UBCM)

Municipal leaders support banning foreign sponsorship of UBCM amid worsening China relations

Chinese consulate hosts annual reception at the civic government event

Mayors and councillors at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention voted strongly against foreign sponsorship of the annual event.

The non-binding vote was held Wednesday morning at the convention in Vancouver and comes amid worsening relations between China and Canada.

Forty-five per cent “strongly disagreed” with allowing foreign sponsorship while 19 per cent simply disagreed. Just 24 per cent agreed and “strongly” agreed.

At the heart of the matter is one of the convention’s annual receptions, which has been sponsored and hosted by the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China since 2013.

The Chinese government gives the UBCM $6,000 to host the reception.

Many city officials have said they will boycott this year’s reception, which is scheduled for Wednesday evening. Among them are Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West, Delta Mayor George Harvie and White Rock’s city council, who have all said they will not attend due to China’s detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

READ MORE: Consular officials visit Canadian Michael Kovrig detained in China

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps confirmed Wednesday she would be attending.

“Yes, I will be there tonight,” she said, noting she thought it was more productive to discuss the issues rather than boycott the reception.

The vote Wednesday was a “straw poll,” said sponsorship review panel chair Frank Leonard, but will affect the panel’s decision. The panel will present its findings to the UBCM executive early next year and those could determine if the the Chinese reception continues.

READ MORE: Delta mayor joins push against Chinese reception at B.C. mayors’ convention

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo hospital staff say lives depend on stopping spread of COVID-19

President of medical staff association, chief of staff at NRGH asking for community’s best efforts

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam, cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Most Read