All members of the Village of Lytton Council, along with our Chief Administrative Officer Diane Mombourquette, attended the Union of BC Municipalities 2023 annual convention last week in Vancouver.
The conference is a key event for municipalities and First Nations from across the Province to discuss policy-making, meet with provincial and federal government representatives, and advocate for local needs.
As a Council, we appreciated the opportunity to attend and advocate for Lytton and the surrounding communities.
The week was full as 2,000 delegates from municipalities, regional districts, First Nation governments, and the Province gathered for workshops, presentations, and meetings. The theme of this year’s convention was “Balancing Act”, which is so appropriate for the Village of Lytton and our Council, as we continue to balance so many things.
Council requested several formal meetings with provincial Ministers and two of these were granted. The meetings were 15 minutes each (some liken it to speed dating).
We met with Mary Popham, the Minister of Tourism, where we requested funding to develop a tourism strategy for the entire Lytton area. We discussed tourism-related assets and opportunities.
We also met with Adrian Dix, the Minister of Health, where we advocated for expediting the construction of the permanent medical centre in Lytton and requested funding to support the renovation and preparation of a temporary pharmacy in Lytton.
These meetings were productive and we were told that the ministries would follow up with us. Hopefully, we will hear positive news from both.
Aside from these two formal meetings, networking with various elected officials during meals, in line-ups, and passing in hallways, was extremely valuable. We were able to introduce ourselves, ask questions, and share our concerns during the many conversations. So many participants were curious about Lytton and where we are at with our recovery and rebuild; many asked how they can help.
Council attended several workshops and presentations on topics including the following:
- UNDRIP and reconciliation
- Climate change
- Preparing for and responding to disasters
- Fire threat mitigation
- The toxic drug situation in B.C.
Although Lytton is unique in our recovery and rebuild, we are not alone with many issues that affect communities from all around B.C.
Overall, the week was informative and productive. We came away re-energized and ready for the challenges and work that lies ahead!
Denise O’Connor, Mayor
Village of Lytton