Northwest MLAs urged to work together

All four newly-elected MLAs support revenue sharing

The Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) is urging newly-elected MLAs in the northwest region to work together to achieve a revenue sharing agreement for the region.

All four elected MLAs – John Rustad, Nechako Lakes; Ellis Ross, Skeena; Jennifer Rice, North Coast; Doug Donaldson, Stikine – have expressed their support for a revenue sharing agreement in the northwest.

The MLAs were recently invited to a meeting with RBA chairs.

“With 85 per cent of the local population in favour of revenue sharing, and all 21 local governments across the region committed to resolving this issue, this is a movement that cannot be ignored,” said Barry Pages, RBA’s Vice-Chair. “We will be in Victoria making sure that government addresses this issue promptly, but we’re starting at home by inviting the four successful candidates to an initial meeting as soon as possible.”

Rustad said that reaching an agreement with the provincial government will depend a lot on what happens once the final vote count is concluded and what the future of LNG will be.

“This won’t be easy,” he said. “I can tell you we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

Phil Germuth, RBA’s Vice-Chair, said that regardless of which party forms government, the fact remains that local governments in northwest B.C. provide expensive services that are crucial to sustain the high level of current and planned economic activity, without a sufficient tax base to fund them.

Bill Miller, RBA Chair and Chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, said that even though there is still some uncertainty about how the government will form in the coming weeks, many interpret the close election result as a vote for greater collaboration among the parties going forward.

“In that spirit, we are asking all of those elected from the northwest to work together to help solve a real and urgent problem for the region,” he said.

Prior to the provincial election, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan was the only major party leader that committed to begin negotiations with the RBA by September 2017. While Liberal leader Christy Clark has expressed her support for a revenue sharing agreement, she did not commit to a date to begin negotiations.

Miller said the RBA plans to start negotiations by asking the provincial government for three per cent of the revenue generated in northwest B.C.

The RBA estimates that current infrastructure needs in northwest B.C. total $600 million.

Just Posted

New transit service to connect Terrace with the Hazelton area

New transit services will start running on Nov. 20, 2017

Search ends for Frances Brown

Smithers RCMP announce end to search for Brown, who went missing mushroom picking Oct. 14

John Rustad: long waits for medevac unacceptable

The MLA wants a review of B.C.’s air ambulance service

Burns Lake residents safely escape fire

A Burns Lake mother and her four children were able to safely… Continue reading

New Hazelton attempted murder charge

New Hazelton RCMP arrested Ronald Fowler, 60. Alleged incident appears to have happened in Two Mile.

Packed house to see Alaria’s Fiddle in Burns Lake

A Smithers-based group called the Valley Youth Fiddlers delivered a powerful performance… Continue reading

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Most Read