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

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

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

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Surrey RCMP searching for missing 12-year-old boy

Landon Vangeel-Morgan was last seen 9:14 p.m., May 30 near 96 Avenue and 150 Street

COVID-19: Daily update on pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

Provincial Health Officer officially bans overnight kids’ camps this summer

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

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

Most Read