Away from all the hustle and bustle, in a room normally used by the New Westminster City Council, 21 representatives from various incorporated communities across the province are having a very serious discussion as part of a very important meeting. These mayors, reeves, aldermen and councillors have been called together for the purpose of forming a union—not a labour union, but a union of municipalities.
For several of the people here, it is the realization of a long-held dream of building an organization that would provide a collective and unified voice for local governments. It is a dream based on the idea of strength in numbers, fuelled by a frustration with always having too few resources—and too little authority—in exchange for too many obligations.
There is an air of excitement and anticipation, of hope born out of the promise of a better future. So when one man, Mayor Buscombe of Vancouver, stands up and moves that “the Delegates now present do form a Union of B.C. Municipalities,” it is not surprising that his motion receives unanimous approval.
This is the true story of how the diverse regions of British Columbia first found their one, true voice. Standing together, from far and wide, each region still stands together. Sometimes it is difficult to see the similarities and the links between the resource or farming communities and the high-tech, downtown-focused cities – and everything and everyone in between. But each region has something unique to contribute to the growth and prosperity of BC and is integral to the success of this province. We are all a piece of the puzzle and working together today is just as important as it was in 1905 when this ‘union’ became one.