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.

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

Just Posted

Lead found in Nelson, Creston and Salmo schools

Fourteen water fountains tested for higher than accepted lead content

UPDATED: Man dies in backcountry near Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Small, Little to represent Kootenays at mixed curling provincials

The pair won the regional playdowns last weekend in Trail

Nelson asks RDCK for clarity on recycling costs

City paid $216,217 to collect rural neighbours’ recycling in 2019, wants to see the math

Prominent Slocan Valley environmental activist dies

Marilyn Burgoon was ‘tough and determined’

VIDEO: The Library Rock(s)

Friends and fans of the Nelson library packed the Capitol Theatre Friday to celebrate 100 years

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

Most Read