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

Abbotsford golfers shoot aces on same hole in same group

Local golfers Blake Olson and Randy Morford shoot hole-in-ones at Ledgeview on same hole

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Public art budgets could be used for gardens, Abbotsford councillor suggests

‘Gardens really are art,’ Coun. Brenda Falk says

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read