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Posted: October 1, 2019

UBCM honour is a community affair: village

The Village of Canal Flats was recognized for Excellence in Governance at the recent Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Conference held September 23 to 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

In front of hundreds of provincial government ministers, and B.C. local government elected officials and staff from around the province, the Village of Canal Flats received Honourable Mention in Excellence in Governance for its visionary new Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw.

The new OCP and Zoning Bylaw, adopted in June 2019, integrates economic development and community planning policy. Together these will lead Canal Flats into the future and can serve as a template for economic development in rural British Columbia, especially in former forestry communities that have lost a major sawmill, like Canal Flats did in 2015, a village press release explained.

“The important new policy was created by working with a committee of community volunteers, contracted planners from B&A Planning Group, council and staff of the Village of Canal Flats. Extensive public outreach was undertaken with several open houses and workshops, online engagement, the community newsletter, and more,” the village release said.

The policy breakthroughs include: innovation in housing types; work-live downtown; mixed-use master planning; and economic development planning that nurtures accelerated investment (e.g. parking standards removal for commercial buildings, and a significant reduction of regulation for responsible home-based businesses – a competitive advantage for Canal Flats).

The Excellence in Governance Category recognizes: “Governance Processes that are outcomes-based and consensus oriented; support and encourage citizen participation in civic decision-making; are efficient, equitable and inclusive, open and transparent; and exemplify best practices in accountability, effectiveness, and long-term thinking.”

Image courtesy Adrian Bergles

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