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UBCM resolve

Curfew, anti-smoking debates catch councillors' eye UBCM resolutions form lobbying strategy By Chris Woodall Resolutions passed by 1,100 municipal councillors and mayors at the latest Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, held this year in Vancouver, Oct. 21-24, don't count for much, but are a stance for the never-ending struggle of municipalities versus the provincial government. "They are merely to establish a lobbying position for the UBCM with the government," explains Whistler Councillor Ken Melamed, who attended the UBCM with the rest of Whistler council. Fellow Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden is lass charitable of their effectiveness. "Quite frankly, the government probably discards 75 per cent of the resolutions as not being on the government's agenda," she says. One locally-inspired resolution came from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District to postpone the process to expand First Nation reserve lands until treaty negotiations are completed. "Some B.C. reserves are physically short of land to house their increasing populations," Melamed says. The resolution was defeated. Anti-smoking resolutions that passed would ban smoking in work places as well as public places. "It was thought not having a work place ban discriminated against disabled people who can't enter an establishment because of second-hand smoke," Melamed says. "There was a question of liability," he says. Dawson Creek convinced fellow councillors to pass an anti-crime curfew for youth resolution that would allow municipal bylaws to keep kids aged 11-13 off the streets after 3 a.m. The town had experienced a youth-related murder last year to prompt the bylaw resolution. "There were very good arguments pro and con," says Whistler Councillor Stephanie Sloan. "On the one hand there was a civil liberties issue of why pick on kids; but another councillor said as a parent the bylaw would give her an excuse to tell her children why they couldn't go out late at night." Sloan also noted that a resolution on gambling wants the B.C. government to hold a provincial referendum. "That passed no problem," Sloan says.