Nanaimo region officials have capped off a meeting with Premier Christy Clark and other senior ministers.
Today, they will begin debate on 155 resolutions before the Union of British Columbia Municipalities 2013 Convention, along with thousands of other local representatives.
On Tuesday, Mayor John Ruttan and Regional District of Nanaimo chairman Joe Stanhope met with Clark to discuss a FortisBC application to merge its utilities in B.C. and charge a common rate for all customers throughout the province - a move that would result in lower natural gas prices for Vancouver Island customers, who pay more than people elsewhere in B.C. Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett also attended.
"The premier and the ministers were very receptive. .. and I think we came across really, really well," said Stanhope, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.
Clark and Coleman were not available for comment.
Stanhope, RDN deputy chairwoman Diane Brennan and director Bill Veenhof also met with Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm to discuss seaweed harvesting, a growing concern for coastal communities worried about damage to local ecosystems as well as vehicles on public beaches.
An RDN-sponsored resolution before UBCM delegates calls on the province to inform local governments and allow them time to comment before licenses are issued for seaweed harvesting along on beaches.
The resolution was proposed by Veenhof at the AVICC after he received complaints from residents after thousands of tonnes of seaweed was removed by licensed harvesters without prior knowledge. The UBCM resolutions committee is endorsing the proposal.
Delegates to the conference will also weigh in on more far-reaching resolutions, such B-94, which would ask the province to extend the period between local election to four years from three.
Nanaimo Coun. Bill McKay said he supports the resolution, adding there is already a steep learning curve within the threeyear period as it is.
"I'm just starting to get the handle on this now," said the first-term councillor.
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