Cowichan Valley Regional District staff ask for direction as costs to attend UBCM convention increase

Cowichan Valley Regional District staff ask for direction as costs to attend UBCM convention increase
Photo: Cowichan Valley Regional District/Facebook

A staff report says it will cost more to send all nine Cowichan Valley regional directors to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Vancouver this year.

The annual convention in September is where local governments from across the province come together, share their experiences and form united positions forwarded to senior government levels.

The convention also provides opportunities for local government leaders to meet with provincial cabinet members.

The approved budget to cover the expenses for all nine regional directors to attend this year is $20,250, according to the report.

The budget was based on the cost for all nine Cowichan Valley directors to attend the UBCM conference this year, plus the cost of hotels last year.

The staff report says accommodations have already been secured, but with costs increasing, there’s a budget shortfall of $13,005.

The report says accommodations in Vancouver have become more difficult to secure over the last number of years due to rising costs and increased interest in attending the UBCM convention.

“Unfortunately, this year, rooms were not able to be secured for our delegates within the provided rooming blocks, and it was necessary for staff to look at other hotels at a higher rate,” said staff.

Staff recommends that the deficit be allocated from another unspent budget or that the board reduce the number of attendees from nine to five.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Electoral Area Services Committee will consider the recommendations during this Wednesday’s meeting.

Also this week, Ladysmith council is considering sending one council member to this year’s UBCM convention and a second if one wants to attend.

READ ALSO: Cowichan Valley Regional District sees tax protest before passing budget

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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