Today, the Union of BC Municipalities unanimously passed a motion opposing provincial funding of municipalities without residents.
Today, delegates representing municipalities across British Columbia voted unanimously to urge the Province of B.C. to stop funding towns without a population.
Put forward by Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft, the resolution is directed at the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality:
"THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM inform the Province of British Columbia that they are strongly opposed to the funding of any municipalities without residents."
The Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality was created on February 19, 2013. Despite the complete lack of residents, a mayor and two councillors were appointed. While the rest of B.C. will go to the polls this November to select their new mayors and councillors, there will be no elections at the JGMRM.
The creation of the JGMRM required amendments to the Local Government Act. In 2012, the UBCM opposed these amendments:
"THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UBCM ask the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development to consider a governance structure for Mountain Resort Municipalities that includes elected representatives responsible for land-use decisions and a permanent population of at least 200 people.
“AND FURTHER THAT the UBCM does not support the concept of an unelected body making land decisions for an area with no population.”
“Local governments across BC struggle to provide services to our residents and the provincial government constantly says there is no money,” says Mayor Taft.
The Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality received $250,000 in provincial funds during its first year and an additional $50,000 from the federal gas tax fund this spring. Their five-year plan outlines an additional $1 million of provincial funds over the next five years.
“Not only is the concept of a town with no residents and an appointed council ridiculous, but the idea that this fake town will get over $1 million in provincial funding over the next five years is disgusting.”