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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Most take on healthcare to save lives, not get more money

Reader disturbed by call local person’s call for hazard pay during COVID

LETTER: Different view questions mandated social distancing

Look at the science behind herd immunity versus current approach to curtailing COVID

LETTER: Verbal attack on foreign workers disturbing

Racist and derogatory comments on social media disheartening and disappointing to Maple Ridge native

LETTER: How about a fashion contest for COVID face gear

Not trying to make light of the pandemic, but how about a community competition, no age limit

ON THE PAGE: FVRL Express launches Monday

It’s as easy as click, pick, and go at Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows libraries starting next week

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

Independent Investigations Office asking for witnesses to May 29 incident at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Most Read