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Councillor supports mayor’s stance

One Spallumcheen councillor praised the efforts of the township’s mayor’s actions during the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Vancouver.

Janice Brown credited Will Hansma for being tough on provincial ministers and their respective staffs when it came time to reminding them about past funding promises.

“I think it’s important for people to realize when we go to these meetings, we have all the background, we’re all precise and prepared, and Will does the talking,” said Brown.

“He bangs things out, we get new ministers, and nobody can remember anything for past meetings. Will reminds them they promised us money, reminds them we’ve been at this for five years and we just keep pushing them.”

The 10 minutes that municipal representatives get to spend with ministers usually just results in some idle chit chat, said Brown. Not so with Hansma.

“They say, ‘they have to get up to speed on things,’ but Will says ‘This happened five years ago, or 10 years ago, and we’re not taking no for an answer,’” said Brown.

“We only meet for 10 minutes but at the end, they stand up and say ‘Holy s--t.’ We do catch them off guard.”

Hansma, Brown, Coun. Dave Brew and administrator Lynda Shykora met with five provincial ministers during the four-day convention in Vancouver.

Grateful for Brown’s comments, Hansma told council they have been promised money on a long talked about project: transition funding for water district.

While they didn’t walk out of UBCM with a cheque, Hansma said he was assured the money is there.

“We got money for the transition process,” said Hansma. “But that’s the bureaucratic side, not infrastructure.”

At least three of the township’s water district have asked Victoria about the process of having the township take over the district.

In meetings with the transportation ministry, Hansma asked for consideration of infrastructure cash to help with maintaining secondary roads, devolved to municipalities by the province.

He also voiced concern – again – to the Ministry of Agriculture over the paltry $190,000 a year given to the Agricultural Land Commission for its yearly budget.

"We had the same talk last year,” said Hansma. “The ALC doesn’t have the level of support required from the province to deal with all of the applications that come forward to them.”

 

 

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