Well, Day One at my first UBCM (the provincial organization for local governments) was chock full of value not only for me but from the responses of many around me, for them as well.
The morning session Building and Protecting Green Communities presented case studies and updates on sustainability and adaptation initiatives, Riparian Area Regulations (including the implications of the recent Ombudsperson report) and Emergency Management scenarios including take-aways from recent incidents in Vancouver. There were some very helpful perspectives related mot only to emergency management but preparedness in the first place.
The main afternoon session on Marijuana: Legalization, Legislation and Access was perhaps one of the better panel discussions that I’ve been a part of ever – regardless of topic. The session of varying legal perspectives, health data, the City of Vancouver’s licensing initiative and insights from Washington’s Initiative 502 (legalizing small amounts of marijuana for adults) was astute, professional, informative, thoughtful and nuanced. I’ll post more on this next week but the case for a Regulated Framework on marijuana, something more than decriminalization, was compelling.
On the dock for me tomorrow (literally as we are at the Vancouver Convention Centre) are sessions on People, Money and Power: Involving the Community through Participatory Budgeting, Mid-Size Community Issues , Municipal and Regional District Tax Program Requirements and two meetings involving council and select cabinet ministers.
I’ll be posting my key take-aways and offering space for all of council to do the same – if they so desire -after I get back.