Fenella Sung of Canadian Friends of Hong Kong speaks to a protest rally outside the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, Vancouver, Sept. 25, 2019. Behind her is Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West (brown coat) and Coun. Steve Darling. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

B.C. municipal group bans foreign sponsorship at convention

China’s reception sparked protests after Canadians arrested

The Union of B.C. Municipalities executive has responded to protests against China’s sponsorship of a reception for mayors and councillors, banning foreign sponsorships for future conventions.

The issue came to a head at the UBCM’s September convention in Vancouver, where some mayors attended and a group called Canadian Friends of Hong Kong staged a demonstration at the China reception. The event has been sponsored for several years, with the Chinese government paying $6,000 for permission to invite 2019 delegates for snacks, drinks and speeches by Chinese consular officials about the China-Canada relationship.

RELATED: ‘Shame on you!’ Demonstrators protest UBCM China reception

RELATED: B.C. students return from Hong Kong amidst growing tension

“Foreign governments will not be permitted to sponsor/finance any UBCM convention events such as receptions and other networking opportunities,” the UBCM said in a statement, following a review of its financing and sponsorship.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West delivered boxes of doughnuts to the door of the Chinese reception on Sept. 25, with the names and photos of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians who remain in Chinese custody on suspicion of espionage. Their arrests were widely seen as a reaction to the arrest of Chinese technology executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver airport in December 2018.

The UBCM executive decided to continue accepting sponsorships from corporations and unions to “sponsor any element” of the annual convention, which rotates between Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler. A highlight of each convention is a lavish reception sponsored by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents municipal employees across B.C.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke City Council approves replacement of $160,000 snow removal machine

It is one of three scheduled to be replaced over the next five years

Revelstoke could further delay byelection to save funds

It’s been roughly eight months since Steven Cross left city council

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce celebrates 125 years

The organization has outlasted 16 Canadian prime ministers

Netflix star Francesca Farago seen hanging in the Okanagan

Farago got her big break as a reality TV star in Netflix’s ‘Too Hot to Handle’ in 2020

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Peachland resident finds severed bear paw on driveway

Tracie Gordon thought it was a Halloween prank, but it turned out to be a real bear paw

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Most Read