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

Okanagan principals told to confiscate vaping products from students

Vaping is up 74 per cent in youth over the last two years, according to one Canadian study

Part of a larger syndrome

Editor, The Times:

Love and Power Retreat weekend almost here

Finding peace, beauty, and acceptance

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

VIDEO: Trudeau plays defence in Maritimes today while Scheer fights for seats in Quebec

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been on the rise in recent polls, is campaigning in Toronto

‘Rather mild’ winter expected in B.C. this year

Northwestern B.C. will be the worst hit

Court action in Trail acid spills may take years

B.C. court case involves a number of defendants and a number of plaintiffs

In the news: Sprinting to the election finish line and anger amid Manitoba storms

First Nations residents forced to evacuate their Manitoba homes after a recent snowstorm

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years on B.C. central coast

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

Most Read