Powell River to host convention for coastal politicians

BC Ferries CEO and premier John Horgan will be among the guest speakers

Powell River will host more than 200 municipal politicians from 53 member communities this week at the 70th annual Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) convention.

Running from April 12 to 14, the convention is being hosted by City of Powell River and qathet Regional District, with Powell River Recreation Complex being the main site for activities.

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AVICC is made up of municipalities and regional districts for all of Vancouver Island and the coast of BC, from Gibsons in the southern portion, all up to the north coast, including Haida Gwaii.

On the pre-convention program, there will be an opportunity to attend a workshop on heritage guidelines and have a Townsite tour, or participate in a blanket exercise.

When the convention officially opens on Friday, delegates will receive a blessing from honoured elder Dr. Elsie Paul, a welcome from the hosts and Tla’amin Nation.

The keynote address at the convention will be given by Mark Collins, president and CEO of BC Ferries. Collins will share information about how the corporation is preparing for the future and its contribution to a sustainable environment. This will be followed by addresses from premier John Horgan and provincial minister of municipal affairs and housing Selina Robinson.

On the Saturday, the regional district’s Let’s Talk Trash team will provide a session to delegates giving an overview about the region’s shoreline cleanup initiative and how delegates can integrate a similar volunteer-driven program that diverts 90 per cent of what is collected in their communities. The team will then dive into zero-waste events and the resources that can help event coordinators integrate zero-waste efforts into event planning.

On the Sunday, delegates will hear from Dr. Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party.

City of Powell River councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said the community has submitted two resolutions to the AVICC convention, including motions on single-use disposable products and climate emergency.

Leishman said the convention will be filling Powell River’s guest accommodations and added that hosting the convention goes a long way toward helping coastal politicians have a greater understanding of issues in the Powell River area.

“Going to other communities always gives one a glimpse at some of the challenges faced,” said Leishman. “The delegates will all certainly become quite aware of our isolation here once they come over on the ferry.”

Powell River last hosted the AVICC convention in 2010. Leishman said Powell River will once again be providing delegates with a wide range of amazing entertainment that they still talk about from 2010.

“Plus, I’m quite sure the food will be to die for,” added Leishman. “The sold-out pre-convention Townsite heritage tour will be a bit hit, too.”

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