Parks boss learns more about Tilma
Park board director of corporate services Anita Ho has sent an e-mail circular claiming the City of Vancouver is not subject to the Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility Agreement under the Vancouver Charter . However, Ho neglected to mention that TILMA will apply to municipal governments in less than two years.
TILMA is a controversial trade agreement between B.C. and Alberta that came into effect on April 1. On April 2, COPE commissioner Spencer Herbert requested that staff consider the potential impacts. The Straight previously reported that park board general manager Susan Mundick told the commissioners she had "no idea" what TILMA was. Mundick was the first person on a list of staff and commissioners Ho copied the information to in her e-mail obtained by the Straight .
"The City legal department has advised me that they have reviewed the TILMA," Ho wrote. "They concluded that the TILMA is an agreement between BC and Alberta and has no legal effect on the City of Vancouver unless and until BC enacts or amends legislation which applies to or affects the City. In short, the City is not subject to this Agreement under the Vancouver Charter. The Legal Department indicated that they will continue to monitor BC legislative activity in this regard and will keep us apprised of any developments."
According to the opening sentence of the TILMA fact sheet–found at www.tilma.ca/ –once the agreement is fully implemented in April 2009, "It will apply to local governments."
Lower down in the same paragraph, it states that "The agreement contains an enforceable dispute resolution mechanism with a provision for financial awards, but only the provincial governments are subject to them."