The annual Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention is taking place in Vancouver from Sept. 23-27, 2019. (UBCM)

Municipal leaders support banning foreign sponsorship of UBCM amid worsening China relations

Chinese consulate hosts annual reception at the civic government event

Mayors and councillors at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention voted strongly against foreign sponsorship of the annual event.

The non-binding vote was held Wednesday morning at the convention in Vancouver and comes amid worsening relations between China and Canada.

Forty-five per cent “strongly disagreed” with allowing foreign sponsorship while 19 per cent simply disagreed. Just 24 per cent agreed and “strongly” agreed.

At the heart of the matter is one of the convention’s annual receptions, which has been sponsored and hosted by the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China since 2013.

The Chinese government gives the UBCM $6,000 to host the reception.

Many city officials have said they will boycott this year’s reception, which is scheduled for Wednesday evening. Among them are Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West, Delta Mayor George Harvie and White Rock’s city council, who have all said they will not attend due to China’s detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

READ MORE: Consular officials visit Canadian Michael Kovrig detained in China

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps confirmed Wednesday she would be attending.

“Yes, I will be there tonight,” she said, noting she thought it was more productive to discuss the issues rather than boycott the reception.

The vote Wednesday was a “straw poll,” said sponsorship review panel chair Frank Leonard, but will affect the panel’s decision. The panel will present its findings to the UBCM executive early next year and those could determine if the the Chinese reception continues.

READ MORE: Delta mayor joins push against Chinese reception at B.C. mayors’ convention

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Dream come true: sleep centre opens in Castlegar

Castlegar centre offers consultations and sleep lab tests.

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Hundreds turn out for Singh, NDP candidate rally in Penticton

The messaging was clear, NDP “chooses you”

How local candidates are using Facebook to advertise directly to you

Liberal campaign is the biggest spender on Facebook ads in South Okanangan–West Kootenay

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Most Read