The Province tabled a bill yesterday to expand the powers of the Board of Governors, in response to asks from the University Neighbourhoods Association and the Board. It represents a stark change in the authority of the Board, giving it municipal powers such as the ability to regulate, prohibit and fine those in contravention.

The bill, among other things, gives the Board the authority to:

  1. regulate, prohibit and impose requirements towards the use of their real and personal property including in respect of events, vehicle traffic, parking, and pedestrian traffic.
  2. remove, immobilize, impound, recover any property in contravention of its new regulatory powers, and to issue fines for the aforementioned
  3. enact noise bylaws
  4. enact nuisance bylaws
  5. have hearings, and to determine disputes regarding their new regulatory powers
  6. have and use these powers retroactively, with emphasis (but not exclusion) to parking
  7. exercise powers over issues that indirectly advance the purposes of the University

The UNA has been asking for parking and noise jurisdiction in the neighbourhoods for some time yet could do nothing, as the Board could do nothing and the UNA derives its power from the Board. This amendment however, stretches far beyond the simple attempts of the UNA to control parking and noise within their boundaries; now the University has the authority to regulate and enforce noise and nuisance over all the endowed lands on behalf of the Government.

This amendment represents an opportunity and a grave risk. The Board will be pressured immediately to enact regulation under its new found powers. If such regulation is enacted, the RCMP will have more leverage, beyond the Criminal Code, to enter, fine and interrupt campus culture. That said, if handled responsibly, this power could clarify the rules around noise and nuisance on campus lands, which may be a good thing. If our SOL database is any indication, student events are on the rapid decline, and I at least believe this is due to a lack of clarity surrounding rules, resulting in the intimidation of students.

If the Board takes itself seriously, such regulation must be enacted after an open, broad and lengthy hearing from the community—as would expect on a sensitive issue in any modern municipality. It must immediately repeal or place a moratorium on its policies (13, 107, possibly others) that could be confused with regulations under its new retroactive authority prior to a consultation, else they will result in severe, unintended consequences.

The bill can be in the hands of the Lieutenant-Governor in three weeks, when it would become law.


3 Comments so far

  1. The Kommander on October 8, 2009 5:53 pm

    So this is that point at which the Kommander would like to express his genuine delight at the onset of dictatorship of UBC!

    No longer will we writhe in the limbo between democratic municipality and appointed Board of Governors! We now have a legitimate oligarchy, a somewhat archaic form of government, but this Keg can’t complain.

    At least its not democracy!

    I know that the AMS is going to get all up in arms with this, or at least he believes they should. While this Keg doesn’t care one way or another, the fact that suggestions of the RCMP and UNA to the Board can then become legitimate policy/law is one that concerns more than just the political types.

    “I didn’t vote for APEC!”


  2. ap on October 12, 2009 4:48 pm

    The Kommander’s forces will be rounding up dissidents to toil in the BoG Camps, of course.

  3. Come on feel the noise : UBC Insiders on October 19, 2009 5:19 pm

    […] process has been ongoing since well before the appearance of Bill 13, which would give UBC the ability to regulate noise all over campus. The University […]

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