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

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service, will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

Person found dead after apartment fire in White Rock

Crews called to Foster Street complex at 7:30 a.m. Monday

As 300K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

Most Read