For Immediate Release
May 21, 2012
Ministry of Community, Sport and
Province, UBCM mark Local Government Awareness Week
VICTORIA – Local Government Awareness Week has been proclaimed for May 20-26, 2012, announced Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong and Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) president Heath Slee.
Local elected officials make key decisions on municipal councils and regional district boards. Local Government Awareness Week aims to generate awareness and further educate the public regarding the important roles and responsibilities of local governments throughout the province.
The timing coincides with National Public Works Week. This year’s theme, “Creating a Lasting Impression” calls attention to the importance of public works in community life. The week is about acknowledging the efforts of the many people who provide and maintain civil infrastructure and services.
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong –
“Our lives are directly impacted by the elected municipal, regional and school board representatives who make vital decisions for British Columbians. This week provides an opportunity for B.C. citizens to learn more about how local governance works, and how they can participate in creating sustainable, family-friendly communities.”
UBCM president Heath Slee –
“Local governments build and sustain the systems that make our communities possible. They also deliver programs that enhance the quality of life for all and support those who are in need. This week acknowledges the efforts of local governments to build communities that British Columbians can take pride in.”
Public Works Association of British Columbia executive director Jeannette Austin –
“Since 1960, we have been celebrating the vital work of public works employees. These professionals are always looking for sustainable and safe solutions for their communities. We use this week to energize and educate the public on the importance of the contribution of public works to their daily lives – planning, building, managing and operating the heart of our local communities and building the quality of life.”
· Local Government Awareness Week is the result of a partnership between UBCM, CivicInfo BC, the Local Government Management Association, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, the Ministry of Education, the British Columbia School Trustees’ Association and the Public Works Association of British Columbia.
· Local Government Awareness Week coincides with National Public Works Week – recognizing the importance of building and maintaining infrastructure and providing services that improve the quality of life in communities.
· There are 188 local governments in British Columbia.
· Since 2001, the Province has provided $3 billion to B.C.’s local governments over and above previously existing funding streams.
· Under the Community Charter – the most empowering local government statute in Canada – B.C. communities have broad corporate, service and regulatory powers, enabling them to address local issues with a high degree of autonomy.
About Local Government Awareness Week: www.lgaw.bc.ca
About National Public Works Week: http://pwabc.cpwa.net/Index.html
For a photo of Chong and Slee, go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos/7223417026/
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Relationships and Communications Advisor
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect