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UBCM reps to vote on Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam resolutions

The Union of BC Municipalities convention is next week in Victoria, with provincial leaders speaking to the delegates.

Two resolutions from Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam will be up for consideration by delegates at next week's Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention.

Coquitlam city council is seeking endorsement from reps regarding mental health injuries among first responders. UBCM is recommending approval of the resolution, which calls on the provincial government to change the Workers Compensation Act to add a presumptive clause for mental health injuries for emergency personnel.

Meanwhile, Port Coquitlam and Burnaby city councils are seeking approval for its joint resolution on asbestos and hazardous materials removal.

The two municipalities want the province to require licensing, certification and enforceable compliance for all contractors who handle asbestos and other hazardous material; however, the UBCM resolutions committee hasn't rubber-stamped the motion because it has never sought such a move.

According to WorkSafe BC, asbestos exposure is the leading cause of work-related deaths in B.C. It also reports that 43% of all hazardous material surveys done by contractors indicate renovating and demolishing homes were carried out in an unsafe manner.

The UBCM convention, which opens Monday in Victoria, will tackle a number of issues including tent cities, homelessness, gang violence, climate action and forestry.

Delegates will vote on nearly 200 resolutions over the course of the week. They will also hear from Premier Christy Clark, NDP Leader John Horgan and BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver as the trio ready for next spring's provincial election.

Also scheduled to speak is Coquitlam resident Emma Langson of the environmental group Plastic Oceans Foundation.


In other news: 

Coquitlam Coun. Bonita Zarrillo met with other civic leaders from across Canada last week to push for more federal funding on new infrastructure projects.

Zarrillo, a committee member for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), was in Oakville, Ont., to champion the $48-billion Phase 2 federal infrastructure plan.

Members "agreed that a successful Phase 2 will require an ongoing 50% federal share, with provinces partnering with no less than their traditional one-third share," Zarrillo wrote in an email to The Tri-City News. "They also agreed that Phase 2 should streamline investment in green and transit infrastructure as stable, predictable allocations for municipalities."

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