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Coquitlam councillor Trish Mandewo named new UBCM president

2023 UBCM priorities include climate change, drug decriminalization, treatment and recovery support, and housing.
Newly elected UBCM president Trish Mandewo, a Coquitlam city councillor, on Sept. 20, 2023.

Coquitlam Coun. Trish Mandewo Sept. 21 became the new president of the Union of BC Municipalities, taking the reins from outgoing president Jen Ford, a Whistler councillor.

Mandewo said one of her first priorities would be to meet with Premier David Eby to discuss resolutions approved by UBCM delegates at the organization's 2023 conference held Sept. 18-22 in Vancouver.

Priorities for the year would be climate change; drug decriminalization, treatment and recovery support; and accessibility to affordable housing.

“B.C. communities are facing overlapping crises. Local governments have sent a clear message this week about the need for improved treatment options for substance users, more action from the federal and provincial governments on purpose-built rental housing, and stronger measures to protect communities from the increasing threat of wildfire due to climate change.

“The energy and passion of our members throughout this past week is inspiring our executive team to strongly advocate on their behalf. If provided the powers, responsibility, and tools necessary to face these challenges, local governments will deliver,” she said.

Also on the 2023-2024 executive:

• director Art Kaehn, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George as first vice-president;

• Coun. Wesly Graham of the City of Cranbrook as second vice-president;

• Coun. Jenna Stoner of the District of Squamish has been elected third vice-president; and

• Coun. Jen Ford of the Resort Municipality of Whistler steps into the role of past-president.