Sea to Sky communities bringing resolutions to UBCM 

Whistler wants snow tires to be mandatory on 'mountain highway'

 

Sea to Sky communities are bringing resolutions regarding winter tire regulations, recycling refunds and invasive species to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention this week.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler has put forward two resolutions. One concerns community safety. It asks that the UBCM lobby the provincial government to develop a mountain highway designation and "adopt a law whereby the installation of winter tires or carrying chains becomes mandatory for all vehicles" on such highways.

The law, as Whistler is asking for it, would apply between the months of November and April each year.

The resolution hasn't gotten a warm reception from the UBCM thus far. The agenda for the convention notes that the UBCM's Resolutions Committee has recommended that it not be endorsed.

It says the committee first received the resolution in 2009, but due to time constraints it was not considered at the convention and it was referred automatically to the UBCM executive. The executive determined that the province already had the ability to address that very problem and no action was taken.

The UBCM had also considered the same resolution at its 2003 convention. It, too, wasn't endorsed.

The committee also pointed out that the Ministry of Transportation has the ability to require that chains or snow tires be used on particular highways when weather conditions demand them.

A spokeswoman with the RMOW said the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District brought the motion to the table in 2009. Defeated at that time, Whistler is now bringing it back. She went on to say the resolution has been in the works for nine years with the support of other municipalities in the corridor, as well as the RCMP, as a measure for increasing highway safety.

Whistler is also bringing forth a resolution for the UBCM to lobby the Ministry of Environment for an increase in the bottle deposit refund in British Columbia to "significantly increase recovery rates."

That means they want people to make more money off the refunds that come along with dropping off bottles and cans at Return-It Centres and anywhere else that offers the refunds.

Whistler is asking that the B.C. Recycling Regulation align recovery rates with those in Alberta, believing that recovery rates will increase with higher refunds. The UBCM Resolutions Committee has endorsed this proposal with an amendment that milk containers be added to the recycling regulation.

This same resolution came before the UBCM convention in 2009 but it didn't hit the floor due to time constraints. It was then referred automatically to the UBCM executive, which proposed the amended version.

The District of Squamish, meanwhile, is bringing forward a resolution to help manage the spread of invasive species throughout the province.

Calling invasive species the "second greatest threat to global biodiversity" behind habitat destruction caused by land clearing, the resolution asks that the province minimize the spread of invasive species by educating the public about non-native vegetation; dedicating resources to government agencies for control of invasive species; and instituting a grants program to assist local organizations in invasive species control.

The UBCM Resolutions Committee has recommended that it be endorsed, much as it did for a motion in 2005 that called on the province to commit resources to fund educational programs on invasive species.

Invasive species causing concern in the Sea to Sky region include knapweeds, which cover "thousands of hectares of land" in British Columbia. An individual knapweed can produce up to 140,000 seeds per square metre and give little opportunity for plants to grow, according to the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council.

Others include knotweeds, which have been planted in Sea to Sky as ornamental plants in gardens but have been known to form dense thickets in habitats such as dry roadsides and moist stream banks.

Small patches of knotweeds can grow into large areas and, like knapweed, leave little room for native species to grow.

 

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