CCRD Area C Director Alison Sayers is now holding the region’s first-ever seat on the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. Elected to a one-year term on the Executive as Director at Large, Sayers says she is thrilled with the new challenge.
“This is a really exciting position as it presents a huge opportunity for learning, both for myself personally and as a CCRD director,” said Sayers. “I’m going to learn an enormous amount about how to make real change at the provincial level, and this knowledge will stay with our regional district and be extremely beneficial.”
The UBCM was formed 100 years ago to “provide a common voice for local government” and adopts the old adages “strength in numbers” and “united we stand – divided we fall.” The organization is dedicated to providing a voice to its members and initiating real change. Its members meet annually at a convention, where the majority of the work is carried out.
It was at UBCM’s 2015 Convention where Sayers was elected to her first term. Her advance nomination came from the CCRD Board of Directors and she ran against 10 other candidates for a total of five positions.
“It was a new experience for me,” said Sayers. “I really enjoy the grassroots level of local government, but I’m very excited for the opportunity to learn more about the provincial level.”
UBCM boasts over 100 member governments, including First Nations, municipalities, and regional districts. Their strength lies in their numbers, and as an organization they work to represent and serve all local governments in BC and to advocate for their interests.
UBCM has been progressive in their policies and resolutions – the 2015 Convention saw the union pass a resolution, albeit narrowly, that calls for the provincial government to enact a “environmental bill of rights” to protect B.C.’s land, air and water.
The resolution would recognize the right of every resident to live in a healthy environment; allow public participation in decision-making respecting the environment and access to environmental information; provide access to justice when environmental rights are infringed; and offer whistleblower protection.
“The UBCM is widely considered the best organization of its kind in Canada,” Sayers said. “I’m looking forward to working with them throughout the next year.”