Taking stock of what we’ve been able to accomplish together and moving ahead with prudent decisions to help make B.C. communities even better places to live was the focus of the keynote address of Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, to UBCM delegates on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.
Understanding the importance of the relationship between the Province and local government - the value of working together in collaboration and partnerships - was highlighted by the Minister.
“We are focusing our lens on what is best for families and what is best for protecting and creating jobs that support B.C. families,’’ Chong said, noting that government’s emphasis is on providing support in key sectors to boost domestic, cross-border and global export opportunities.
Examples of success stories included infrastructure build-out through a variety of programs including Building Canada Fund, Spirit Squares and LocalMotion. Chong noted that since 2008 the Province has committed to investing more than $5.6 billion in approximately 900 infrastructure projects throughout B.C.
The Minister also stressed the important addition of art, culture and sport - all elements that help define British Columbia communities - to her Ministry. “What better place in the Provincial government to house responsibility for those components?’’ Chong said.
The Minister reminded everyone that she has an open-door policy; she wants to hear from local elected officials if they have any concerns or ideas.
She also reminded the audience of the Premier’s commitment to open government. Part of being open is listening to what people have to say and Chong said her Ministry is leading the way by supporting the Community Gaming Grant Review, led by Skip Triplett.
The Minister is confident that the Municipal Auditor General will be something that we will look back at in a year or two as an example of a provincial initiative that benefits UBCM, its members and the citizens it serves.
In closing, Chong wished everyone running again the very best. The Minister thanked those not running again for the service provided to their communities.
For photos of UBCM visit: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjw6rsc6