Sponsors: City of Fort St. John
NCLGA Executive Recommendation: Do Not Endorse | Endorsed by the NCLGA Membership
Whereas the Province of British Columbia and UBCM entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) titled 'Local Government's Participation in the New Relationship with First Nations';
And whereas this MOU establishes local government's role as primarily being a 'respected advisor' to the Province on First Nation issues, however local governments' responsibilities to their constituents place them as a stakeholder which goes beyond simply advising the Province on these issues:
Therefore be it resolved that the parties to this MOU recognize this MOU is considered non-binding on local governments unless local governments become signatories to this MOU.
The Resolutions Committee advises that the UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution asking that the MOU titled “Local Government’s Participation in the New Relationship with First Nations” between the Province and UBCM is non-binding on local governments, unless those local governments become signatories to the MOU.
The Committee would note that UBCM does not enter into MOUs and Protocols lightly. There is a defined process within Executive Policies that guides the Executive on how to deal with MOU requests and renewals. The MOU in question was approved by the membership and has been renewed four times over the course of 15 years. Most recently renewed at the 2018 Convention, the current iteration titled “Engagement with UBCM and Local Governments on Treaty Agreements, Non-Treaty Agreements and Indigenous Initiatives”, was amended recognizing that there was a need for the Province to broaden its scope for engagement with UBCM and local governments due to the fact that Indigenous peoples are seeking agreements and initiatives, not just treaty, on matters “that will impact local government jurisdiction” and “have the potential to broadly impact local governments.”
The Committee would also note that the MOU does not bind local governments to specific processes, but sets out principles for communication between the parties towards "sincere and honest engagement”, to enable dialogue with local governments, not constrain it. In addition, UBCM monitors the implementation of the MOU, and has the opportunity to communicate to the province any concerns that may arise.
By putting this resolution forward is the sponsor asking that local governments not be engaged or consulted on treaty agreements, non-treaty agreements and Indigenous Initiatives that will impact their jurisdiction or have the potential to impact them as local governments? If so, this direction is not supportable as it is contrary to member direction.