Today in the legislature I introduced Bill M231 — Local Government Amendment Act.
If passed, this Bill will ensure that municipalities in BC cannot be incorporated without first ensuring that there are residents actually living in the area at the time of incorporation. This might seem like an unnecessary bill as it would seem obvious that a municipality, governed by a Mayor and two Councillors, should actually have people and property to govern. Well that’s not the case in the wild west of British Columbia politics.
Back in 2012, the BC Liberals amended The Local Government Act to allow mountain resort municipalities to be created that have no residents. In particular, this was done in support of the proposed Jumbo Glacier Mountain resort that I have written about earlier.
Given opposition to the resort by the Ktunaxa Nation, the fact that the environmental assessment certificate has expired, and that the project has not substantially started, it seemed timely to close the loophole for good as it sets a dangerous precedence.
Below I reproduce the text and video of my introduction of the Bill.
A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled the Local Government Amendment Act, 2017, of which notice has been given in my name, be introduced and read a first time now.
A. Weaver: I’m pleased to be reintroducing a bill intituled the Local Government Amendment Act. It’s absurd that in British Columbia today a municipality exists that has no houses, no infrastructure and no people. The Jumbo Glacier Resort is designated as a mountain resort municipality, and despite not having any people, it has a salaried, province-supported mayor and two councillors.
This government created the loophole that has allowed this municipality to exist, despite there being no residents. It was created solely for the purpose of a specific pet-project that this government wants to proceed.
This bill would close this ridiculous loophole and ensure that municipalities in British Columbia actually have people living in them.
I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting after today.
Bill M231, Local Government Amendment Act, 2017, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.