Hot topics discussed at UBCM

The Union of BC Municipalities meets annually to debate and discuss many topics related to municipalities.
The Union of BC Municipalities meets annually to debate and discuss many topics related to municipalities.

The Sept. 26 to 30 Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference saw Sun Peaks well represented at various sessions and debates on issues the municipality is currently facing.

Mayor Al Raine attended a session on short-term rentals and said it was the most dominant topic for much of
the conference.

“The session on short-term rentals was full of communities who are keenly interested in focusing on what is the appropriate regulation for short-term rentals,” Raine said.

Some of the topics addressed in the session were zoning properties to permit short-term rentals, changing the taxation structure for rentals with less than three rooms and the ability to enforce any changes made.

Sun Peaks also presented a resolution to create a committee made up of different municipalities affected by short-term rentals and provincial representatives to look at the many issues and possible solutions,which passed.

Raine said when the resolution was read it received a strong response of support from many communities including Vancouver.

There were three other resolutions relating to short-term rentals that were not debated due to time constraints. They will be passed to the executive to be debated and voted on.

Another resolution was presented by representatives from Quesnel to change the date of the BC Family Day holiday from the second week of February to the third week. The B.C. ski industry has heavily lobbied the provincial government to keep BC Family Day separate to the Alberta statutory holiday on the third Monday.

“This would have a significant impact on tourism operators as well as an economic impact on B.C.,” Raine said. “Right now we have two busy weeks instead of just one.”

Raine said he believed if this resolution passed it would take a toll on tourism operators and plans to take a stance against the change.

Other popular topics at the conference included discussions around ride sharing services and the taxi industry and compensation for municipal services such as fire and police.