Formed in 2014, the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance is comprised of 21 local governments in the regional districts of Bulkley-Nechako, Kitimat-Stikine and Skeena-Queen Charlotte. (Submitted image)

Formed in 2014, the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance is comprised of 21 local governments in the regional districts of Bulkley-Nechako, Kitimat-Stikine and Skeena-Queen Charlotte. (Submitted image)

Northwest B.C. shared revenue talks continue

Agreement still expected to be reached within the next few months

Negotiations over a resource benefits sharing agreement between northwest B.C. leaders and the provincial government are moving forward.

During the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) annual convention last September, B.C. premier John Horgan confirmed he and his senior government officials would collaborate, beginning immediately, with the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA).

READ MORE: Premier John Horgan commits to shared revenue negotiations

READ MORE: Northwest B.C. leaders praise B.C. NDP

Since the UBCM convention, RBA representatives have travelled to Victoria to meet with the provincial government.

According to RBA chair Bill Miller, discussions are ongoing.

“Both parties are working collaboratively and diligently to explore an agreement that would provide the best outcome for the northwest region and the whole of B.C.,” said Miller last week.

Miller remains optimistic that an agreement will be reached in due course. During the UBCM convention, provincial government and RBA leaders expected to reach an agreement within six months – by the end of March 2018.

Earlier this year, Miller commended the NDP government for its “steadfast commitment” to the RBA.

“After four years of empty promises we have finally gotten to the negotiation table,” he said. “Senior government officials understand this type of agreement will not only benefit the northwest, but the whole province; it is a critical component to enable the northwest region to reach its true potential and contribute to the province’s economic future in a very positive way.”

Miller said it’s important to educate the provincial government on how much revenue is generated in the northwest and what residents currently see in return.

“They [province] see us as a burden, which doesn’t make sense at all because at the end of the day we’re the ones that are producing the dollars that pay for their highways,” Miller said earlier this year. “We are revenue generators.”

According to the RBA, while infrastructure spending by both levels of government has been significant since the 2009 recession, the northwest infrastructure deficit has not been reduced. Local governments estimate that current infrastructure needs total $600 million.

“Revenue sharing would provide local government with the resources we need to properly address the infrastructure and service gaps in our communities and create a legacy for our children,” states the RBA. “A revenue sharing agreement would make the northwest more livable and sustainable, creating a vibrant local economy to complement and diversify the region’s resource base.”

Formed the 2014, the RBA is comprised of 21 local governments in the regional districts of Bulkley-Nechako, Kitimat-Stikine and Skeena-Queen Charlotte.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Questions around rail safety, firefighter safety, cleanup near the rail yards and tracks, whistle cessation, etc were raised during the RDBN meeting with CN. (File photo)
‘Lot of our concerns are still not being heard,’ say RDBN directors on CN’s response

Frustrated over lack of solutions, despite communicating their concerns to CN

Barbara Patrick. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
Former Burns Lake local to play the first Indigenous character in a Hallmark movie

Barbara Patrick, a former LDSS student takes a huge step for the Indigenous community

The Burns Lake RCMP is supportive of having a ticketing bylaw in place even though there would be limitations on what they could ticket on. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake might be getting a ticketing bylaw

Will help extend RCMP’s authority to attend to noise complaints

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

Most Read