September 25, 2014 - 1:00 PM
PENTICTON - Mayor and council have been busy this week at the 2014 Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler, discussing issues from insurance claims to job recruitment and retention with provincial ministers.
A resolution to restore full ICBC claim coverage was passed by the UBCM membership Wednesday. Municipalities want ICBC to reimburse cities in full if a vehicle damages a city building.
The provincial government will look at the resolution that was endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association and the UBCM Resolutions Committee.
“The City of Penticton takes public safety and service to our residents very seriously, and that’s why our crews go out in the middle of the night to clean up damage resulting from motor vehicle accidents,” says Mayor Garry Litke. “Covering overtime costs as part of vehicle claims is a long-time practice, as many accidents happen at night and on weekends when over-time is a necessity to ensure damage is repaired and the public is protect from further risks like fallen power lines. Our communities should not incur additional costs with a charge in ICBC claims coverage.”
Improving skilled labour opportunities was also discussed with cabinet ministers at the convention Wednesday. Mayor and Council talked about the challenges industrial businesses face in Penticton with recruiting and retaining skilled labour.
The two parties discussed available funding for programs that would support employment needs, for example a permanent welding program through an existing high-school program. The most critical and frequent shortage is welders.
Penticton companies have the most success in apprenticing, attracting and retaining workers who were raised and trained here.
“Most rural communities understand the labour loss once a student goes to a large centre,” said Coun. Helena Konanz. “South Okanagan employers need to be able to count on locally available training for their key trades.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014