A steering committee representing B.C.’s mayors asked for more financial certainty from Premier Christy Clark and Community Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bill Bennett Monday.
Mayor Peter Milobar, who sits on the committee of the B.C. Mayor’s Caucus, said afterward the hour-long meeting didn’t gain any promises, but at least concerns were raised.
“It was certainly a good opportunity to give them a sense of what we’re trying to do,” he said, noting the newly formed caucus aims at focusing in on one or two major issues of common concern.
“We’re trying to focus in on a couple of high-level issues we agree on as a group,” he said in a phone interview from Vancouver, where the meeting was held.
“Probably the biggest concern is certainty of funding.”
Milobar said the uncertainty around grants affects both provincial and provincial-federal shared programs.
Sometimes criteria can cause problems, other times it’s whether the program will continue, or if it’s oversubscribed.
The B.C. Mayors’ Caucus formed in spring and so far includes 140 of the province’s 185 municipal mayors.
The group is different than the Union of B.C. Municipalities in that it zeroes in on just a couple of topics of top priority for community mayors, he said.
In fact, the caucus can help to reinforce UBCM, rather than detract from it.
The steering committee is meeting in Victoria on Sunday, as a lead-in to next week’s UBCM conference, Milobar said. A broader B.C. Mayor’s Caucus session is slated for Monday.
While the mayor’s caucus is new for B.C., there are similar organizations across North America, he said.
“We want to make sure people are comfortable with what we’re trying to do. We’re not trying to be all things to all people,” he said.
“This is strictly the mayors saying there’s one or two things we see on a regular basis. This is about big communities wiling to support small communities and vice versa.”