Hightlights of the AVICC Conference

AVICC Conference Highlights

From April 3 to 5, 2009 in Nanaimo, I attended the 60th annual meeting of the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC). The Association represents approximately 48 municipalities, local governments and regional districts on Vancouver Island, including Powell River and meets annually to bring forward issues and topics of concern from member communities and make recommendations and resolutions ahead of the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention held every September. This year's new President of AVICC is Mayor Christopher Causton of Oak Bay.

I participated in the voting process and supported the following resolutions, all of which were adopted or CARRIED by the majority of the voting membership. The following resolutions may be of particular interest to North Saanich:

  • AGRICULTURE FUNDING - BC spends 3.3% of its provincial budget on agriculture compared to the national average of 16.4%; Therefore, be it resolved that the Provincial Government increase financial support Agriculture consistent with the national average and cease approving any further ALR exclusions.
  • RESTORATION OF BC HYDRO MANDATE - The BC Energy Plan limited the mandate for BC Hydro to grow public green power assets and is instead directed to buy power from private power utilities (e.g., Run of the River projects); Therefore, be it resolved that BC Hydro have its mandate restored to look for opportunities to look for sustainable alternatives.
  • RESTORATION OF VICTIM SERVICES' AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE FUNDING - Local governments are called on increasingly to fund Victim Services and Restorative Justice Programs; Therefore, be it resolved that the Provincial Government provides sustainable ongoing funding for community-based restorative justice and victim services' programs.
  • ALTERNATIVE ENERGY INSTALLATION - Governments at all levels should be encouraging the use of "green" methods of energy generation; Therefore, be it resolved that Provincial Government provides incentives to encourage new construction to be pre-plumbed and pre-wired for future solar panels or other alternative energy installations.

Other resolutions that called for action from the AVICC and were CARRIED included:

  • Agreement by the Provincial Government to cover costs incurred by local governments of responding to provincial referrals.
  • Protection of community watersheds.
  • Infrastructure program funding for municipal governments (similar to fed/prov Gas Tax Agreement) by provincial and federal governments that provides direct funding for small scale infrastructure projects.
  • Compensation for large scale mining activities.
  • Local government election date change from November to October.
  • Safer communities and neighbourhoods legislation by the province to address public disorder and neighbourhood deterioration caused by illicit drug houses, problem addresses , etc.
  • International medical graduates program revised to remove obstacles to Canadians, trained as doctors in other Commonwealth countries or the US from returning to Canada to practice.
  • A provincial moratorium on all Independent power projects (IPPs) until a set of public oversight conditions are met.
  • Vancouver Island transmission corridor to help Vancouver Island to achieve power self-sufficiency from 100% green power sources.
  • Ferry service routes strategy for minor southern coastal ferry routes.
  • VIA Rail to provide a passenger train service for Vancouver Island that is sustainable and efficient.
  • BC farm assessment policy criteria and its very negative impact on small farming operations across Vancouver Island.
  • Need for provincial integrated sustainable energy planning process.

If you would like more information about AVICC, please visit their website at http://www.avicc.ca/