Report to Council on UBCM at Whistler
Group from Town of Oliver
CAO Heidi Frank, Mayor Ron Hovanes and Councillor Jack Bennest
Meeting with Ministers (Town only)
MLA Coralee Oakes – Minister of Community, Sports and Cultural Development
1. Town thank you for water twinning funds in 8 year project – now complete
2. Roads and Infrastructure decline – funding assistance required
3. Government response: Please submit applications for grant money as new program will encompass the need for municipal roads in addition to water and sewer infrastructure.
MLA Suzanne Anton – Minister of Justice (Town and RDOS)
1. Correctional Facility and increased policing costs
2. Government response: Regional RCMP Budget should cover any additional cost not a burden on municipal police forces
Training and Educational Seminars:
Impact on Municipalities by recent court decisions on Native Land and rights
Voter Turnout – how to engage the electorate
Deer Problems in rural communities
AlC – changes to the ACT and impacts in Zone 1 (Okangan and Lower Mainland)
Doctor recruitment and holding on to your rural Hospital
Resolution on National Park sponsored by Osoyoos – endorsed by UBCM
Written by Jack Bennest
One seminar of Note:
Panelists at the Mid-Sized Communities Forum highlighted the reality of BC’s future skill shortage, resulting from an aging and retiring population.
The panel on Economic Development: Attracting and Retaining Foreign Investment consisted of presentations from Christian Saint Cyr, Publisher and Editor of BC Labour Market Report, and John McDonald, Executive Director with Ministry of International Trade.
Mr. Saint Cyr emphasized that 50-60 thousand BC workers will reach retirement age each year for the next 15-20 years. As a result, over one million job openings will occur over the next ten years. Many of these jobs will require special trades or technical training.
Although it is difficult to speculate whether this decrease in the labour force will occur gradually or en masse, Mr. Saint Cyr’s emphasized that the exit of baby from the labour market may mean that BC will not have an adequately skilled workforce to fill this gap.
Among Mr. Saint Cyr’s conclusions to address this future skills shortage, communities should work with educators and businesses to ensure that skills training programs reflect the emerging labour market needs in sectors to be impacted by the retiring workforce. This is a critical next step as a sufficiently trained workforce is key to attracting foreign investment.
Mr. McDonald with the Ministry of International Trade highlighted the province’s efforts and services in connecting foreign capital to communities.