Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, issued the following statement today in recognition of Local Government Awareness Week.
“The Government of British Columbia is proud to proclaim May 18-24 as Local Government Awareness Week. We encourage all British Columbians to appreciate the important role local governments play in supporting vibrant communities and strong democratic values throughout the province.
“Local government represents a major part of the public sector in British Columbia, providing communities with essential infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, water, schools, public safety and recreation. In 2012, B.C.’s local governments spent about $8.1 billion, helping to support economic growth, create jobs, stimulate investment, attract people and sustain a high quality of life.
“Local government provides the focus for community-level democracy in British Columbia. Over 2,000 elected officials serve in B.C.’s local governments, including cities, towns, villages, electoral areas, regional districts, school districts and improvement districts. Through their local governments, British Columbians create collective responses to challenges and build community-based strategies to realize common goals.
“Working in partnership with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, the BC School Trustees Association, Elections BC and other stakeholders, the Government of British Columbia has passed legislation to reform B.C.’s local government elections. New campaign finance rules will ensure accountability, enhance transparency, strengthen compliance and enforcement, and provide education and advice. Four-year terms of office give B.C.’s elected local governments more time to consult citizens, make plans and achieve broad-based community objectives.“I encourage all British Columbians to celebrate Local Government Awareness Week and participate in general local elections throughout the province on Nov. 15, 2014.”
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development