Date: December 24, ,1996
   Dept. File No.

   TO:       Vancouver City Council

   FROM:     General Manager of Engineering Services, in consultation with
             the General Manager of Community Services

   SUBJECT:  Proposal for a Successor Organization to the Fraser Basin
             Management Board


        A.   THAT Council support a successor organization to the Fraser
             Basin Management Board with representation through regional

        If (A.) is approved then staff RECOMMEND

        B.   THAT funding for the successor organization be applied through
             municipal levies.

        C.   THAT the $0.20 per capita financial contribution be contingent
             upon continued support from the federal and provincial
             governments and include the GVRD s contributions to the Fraser
             River Estuary Management Program and Burrard Inlet
             Environmental Action Plan.

        D.   THAT the new entity charged with overseeing the implementation
             of the Basin Plan include a coordination role to ensure that
             the soon-to-be-finalized integrated Flood Hazard Management
             Strategy is implemented.


   Given the budget decisions which are required in 1997 and the City
   Choices program to explore budget issues with the public, it would be
   preferable to defer this decision until February, when Council will have
   set the overall 1997 budget.  The GVRD has asked that the City provide
   its position by January 10.  This report accordingly is submitted now,
   to provide Council the opportunity to respond within the GVRD's time
   line.  However, the City Manager RECOMMENDS it be deferred until the
   last half of February, and that the General Manager of Engineering
   report back on the saving which would flow to the City if a successor
   organization was not endorsed.


   The benefit of a successor organization to the Fraser Basin Management
   Board is not clear.  The Basin Plan, produced by the FBMB, provides a
   vision for sustainability in the Fraser Basin.  The role that is
   envisaged for a successor organization is as an advocacy group to
   encourage individuals, governments, industry, and others to take action
   to achieve this vision.  The organization would have no regulatory or
   decision making function. 

   It is difficult to quantify what impact the existence of such an
   organization may have on decision making within the Basin, or on the
   realization of the Vision of the Basin Plan.  Therefore, the decision on
   whether or not to support the organization at an annual cost to
   Vancouver of between $52,000 and $61,000, is put to Council for


   One of the directions in the City Plan is to make improving the
   environment a priority in decision-making with particular attention to
   air and water quality.


   This report presents a structure for the successor organization to the
   Fraser Basin Management Board and recommends the source of funding.


   The Fraser Basin Management Program was established on May 26, 1992, to
   advance the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the
   Fraser Basin.  It is headed by a 19 member Board consisting of
   representatives from government, First Nations, business, labour,
   non-governmental organizations, and other partners throughout the basin. 
   The program is funded by federal, provincial and local governments.  

   In addition, an Intergovernmental Task Force on Flood Hazard Management
   has been established under the auspices of the Fraser Basin Management
   Program, to develop a cooperative management agreement that will clarify
   the roles and responsibilities of the various levels of government.  A
   strategy is being developed on integrated flood hazard management for
   consultation and review by all shareholders. 

   The original mandate of the Fraser Basin Management Board has culminated
   in the Basin plan, a strategic plan for sustainability of the Fraser
   River.  It is now proposed that a new entity be created at a regional
   level and mandated to oversee implementation of the Basin Plan. 

   At their September, 1996 meetings, the GVRD Strategic Planning Committee
   and the GVRD Board received and approved a staff report providing
   comments on the Fraser Basin Management Board s draft Basin Plan and
   forwarded it to the Fraser Basin Management Board for consideration.

   The Committee deferred consideration of a second recommendation that the
   GVRD Board consult its members on any proposal for a successor
   organization, pending the outcome of a meeting of the Local Government
   Steering Committee held in conjunction with the 1996 UBCM Convention in
   Penticton.  Subsequent to the meeting of the Local Government Steering
   Committee, the GVRD Board has forwarded the report, titled "Proposal for
   a Successor Organization to the Fraser Basin Management Board", to the
   member municipalities for comment. 


   Attached is the GVRD Board report, titled "Proposal for a Successor
   Organization to the Fraser Basin Management Board", which includes a
   letter from Mayor Halsey-Brant conveying a proposal that was approved by
   the Local Government Steering Committee.

   The letter from the Local Government Steering Committee proposes that a
   successor organization be established to support the implementation of
   the Basin Plan, as well as the soon-to-be-finalized Flood Hazard
   Management Strategy.  Local government representation on the successor
   organization would consist of one member from each of the seven regional
   districts in the basin.  

   Local government funding would be through a levy of $0.20 per capita. 
   GVRD contributions would be net of the existing funding towards the
   Burrard Inlet Environmental Action Plan/ Fraser River Estuary Management
   Program (BIEAP/FREMP).  

   This proposal is contingent upon continued support and significant
   financial contributions from the federal and provincial governments.


   The presumed benefit of this proposal is that it provides an
   organization that involves all levels of government, as well as the
   private sector, in joint communication and cooperation in sustainability
   planning for the Fraser basin.  In this way, it would provide a vehicle
   for local input into what is essentially a senior government area of

   Shifting the representation and funding to the regional level would
   bring a clearer focus to local government s involvement in basin-wide
   planning and allow improved coordination with other regional programs
   such as BIEAP/FREMP.    


   The proposal for the successor to the Fraser Basin Management Board
   includes a contribution of $360,000 ($0.20 x 1.8 million people) from
   the GVRD.  The GVRD would receive a credit of $180,000 for it s
   contribution to BIEAP/FREMP.  There would also be a corresponding
   reduction in obligations for member municipalities of the GVRD who are
   paying $180,000 ($0.10 x 1.8 million people) to the existing Fraser
   Basin Management Program through the Union of British Columbia
   Municipalities (UBCM).  Therefore, there is no net increase in the cost
   of the program.

   GVRD costs to Vancouver are based on assessed property values, while
   UBCM costs to Vancouver are based on per capita.  Therefore, from a City
   of Vancouver perspective, there is an $8,700 annual savings if the
   program is funded through direct per capita levies to municipalities,
   ($180,000 x 33.9% of regional assessed values versus $180,000 x
   523,000/1.8 million people in the region).


   With the goal of implementing the Basin Plan, prepared by the FBMB, the
   proposed successor organization would provide a vehicle for continued
   coordination of efforts to manage environmental issues in the Fraser
   Basin with input from local government.  

   The alternative view is that management and regulation of environmental
   issues on this broad a scale is a senior government responsibility, and
   that the senior governments will continue to play the lead role, through
   the Provincial Ministry of the Environment and the Federal Department of
   Fisheries.  The proposed organization may be no more effective in
   advancing the municipal perspective than the direct dealings of
   municipalities and Regional Districts with the senior governments.

   The decision on whether or not to support the establishment of a
   successor group should be based on whether or not Council believes that
   this group can be an effective vehicle for local input to these issues. 
   The annual cost of the program to Vancouver will range between $52,300
   and $61,000, depending on the cost allocation mechanism that is chosen.

   In light of the City s current budget situation, the choice on whether
   or not to support formation of this organization is brought forward for
   Council s consideration.

   If Council chooses to support this program, then staff recommend:

   -    that Vancouver s support is contingent on continued support and
        participation by the federal and provincial governments;

   -    that the $0.20 per capita contribution include the GVRD s support
        of the FREMP and BIEAP programs;

   -    that the program be funded by per capita assessments directly to

   -    that the new organization co-ordinate the implementation of the
        Flood Hazard Management Strategy.

   These conclusions are incorporated into the Recommendations of this

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