Cabinet ministers must respond

EDITORIAL: Failing of bureaucracy a hot topic at UBCM convention in Victoria

This year’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention has provided an opportunity to point fingers at the provincial government.

During the conference this week in Victoria, municipal leaders have had rapid-fire sessions with provincial cabinet ministers on a variety of topics.

Many of them revolve around the failings of the bureaucracy.

Case in point is municipalities such as Vernon receiving surprise invoices for policing, including DNA analysis and dog services.

“We don’t budget for that. All of a sudden, it’s bingo, ‘Here you go,’” said Mayor Akbal Mund.

Given that municipalities have their annual budgets determined by early in the year or March at the latest, such actions by the provincial government are a financial nightmare.

And then there’s the situation in Enderby where Ministry of Environment officials don’t pursue illegal dumping even when residents have provided the required evidence such as licence plate numbers and photos.

“Without consequences, we aren’t getting anywhere,” said Greg McCune, Enderby’s mayor.

Hopefully, the ministers sitting in these sessions got the message from their civic counterparts, and changes in process will occur immediately.

If nothing happens, all the ministers will have proven is they are more interested in lip-service and photo opportunities.