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B.C. mayors look for more provincial cash as they continue to debate taking money from China at UBCM

FILE - The Vancouver Convention Centre. (Source: UBCM.ca)

Mayors from around the province are in Vancouver this week for the Union of B.C. Municipalities meetings

Mayor Brad West says he no longer plans to crash UBCM reception sponsored by the government of China

West had planned to raise issues around China's track record with human rights

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – While much of it will be business as usual at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting, there’s no let up in the opposition against a reception hosted by a foreign country.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West says he knows he can sound like a broken record, and he thinks it’s a done deal, but still wishes the UBCM would nix the reception China’s paying for Wednesday night and give back the cash.

But he’s decided he will not crash the event as planned.

“I’ve concluded based on the information I have that there […] simply would not be an opportunity to be able to have that type of dialogue,” he explains. “If I thought for a nanosecond that me going to the event was going to, in some way, result in an opportunity to put these issues on the table, then I would.”

West had planned to raise issues around China’s treatment of Canadian farmers as well as the Canadians being held in that country at the reception.

“It’s very much a one-way street where the government of China and their representatives get to talk about all the amazing things that they’re doing and get to rub shoulders and wine-and-dine B.C. mayors and city councilors,” he says.

Instead, West says he’ll use the convention floor — and not the reception — to raise concerns about human rights and accepting money from a foreign body.

“It’s really clear that this event is not about having two-way communication and dialogue about what’s important to our communities, and our people, and our country.”

Agenda priorities for the week-long convention include housing and cannabis legislation, as well as motions on vaping and vaping restrictions.