Nanaimo councillors discuss affordable housing at conference

NANAIMO – City councillors discussed issues at Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities Conference program should be cut down, according to Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay, who wants to see a focus on debating resolutions.

“One thing I was disappointed in was the fact that so many of [the resolutions] got passed as a block,” he said, explaining resolutions were grouped together and passed as one, and “without debate.”

“I echo one of the statements made by another delegate where he said, you know, maybe we should do with less speeches and spend more time doing the work we’re supposed to do here, which are the resolutions.”

Municipal politicians converged on Victoria last week for the five-day annual Union of B.C Municipalities convention, which includes forums, guest-speakers, tours and resolutions.

There were more than 100 resolutions, including a request for the federal government to share any future federal or provincial tax collected through marijuana sales and distribution and the protection of old-growth forest. Both resolutions were endorsed.

The City of Nanaimo did not have any resolutions this year.

McKay said he wants to review videos of presentations and work done with an interest in how municipalities can assist in the provision of affordable housing. He said while housing in Nanaimo is still very affordable, he believes there has to be a look to the next couple years to determine what might happen as a result of legislation that affects properties on the Lower Mainland.

McKay does believe there needs to be debate on resolutions instead of seeing them passed in blocks. He also said it’s getting to the point where too much is being “crammed” into five days.

Coun. Ian Thorpe attended the UBCM for the first time this year and found it valuable.

“Just to hear the issues that are shared by other areas of the province, other cities and municipalities,” he said, adding there were also brainstorming sessions on how to deal with those issues as well as a chance to meet other people from other cities and communities.

After one session on homelessness, Thorpe said he came away feeling like things are being done right here.

“What was suggested was it’s not just a homelessness issue, it’s also related to substance abuse and addiction problems quite often so there has to be a combined effort to deal with all of the sort of symptoms that relate to homelessness,” he said, adding it’s about having housing available, as well as support if there’s addiction problems and to break a cycle that keeps people on the street. “I think we are doing that here.”

McKay and Coun. Wendy Pratt attended the full conference. Councillors Diane Brennan and Thorpe were at the event all but one day, while Gord Fuller, Jerry Hong and Jim Kipp attended some sessions, the city reports.

Councillors have $2,500 in their budget for the UBCM.

Just Posted

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Nanaimo RCMP had been asking for help locating a 43-year-old man whose family was ‘extremely worried.’ (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP report man who had made ‘troubling’ comments has been found

43-year-old is receiving treatment he requires, say police

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo hospital district seeks help from other districts for $1-billion project

Funding for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower discussed by committee

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read