B.C. Premier John Horgan, fifth from the left, meets with northwestern B.C. local government representatives belonging to the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance. (File photo)

Benefits alliance to hire full-time manager

Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance’s goal is more money from the province for local governments

A coalition of Northwest local governments is hiring a manager to better pursue its goal of securing more money from the provincial government for its members.

Formed in 2014 and now taking in 21 local governments and three regional districts from Haida Gwaii to Vanderhoof, the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance has been readying itself to negotiate with the Province for a portion of resource taxation revenues.

It argues that while local governments shoulder costs such as roads, water, sewer and policing arising from the impact of large-scale industrial activity, they don’t receive tax revenues in return.

“This isn’t just something we can do off the sides of our desks anymore,” said Sean Bujtas, a Terrace city councillor and one of three co-chairs of the alliance, said of the plan to hire a manager. “We need someone full-time.”

To date the alliance has been hiring consultants to press its case and while the alliance may still need consultants on occasion, having a full-time manager will reduce that need, Bujtas said.

“We expect that person to be hired by April,” he said in adding that the hiring is being handled through Ron Poole, the Kitimat-Stikine regional district’s chief administrative officer.

So far the alliance has been financed by an annual $55,000 contribution from each of its three member regional districts: North Coast, Kitimat-Stikine and Bulkley-Nechako.

An annual expenditure of $100,000 has been set out for the alliance’s new manager.

Bujtas said the manager’s salary will come from within the allocations from the three regional districts.

The alliance’s financial position was bolstered last year by a one-time $300,000 grant from the provincial government.

The provincial government did recognize the alliance’s argument that money is needed for infrastructure in the north last month by saying it would divide $100 million between its membership as well as the Fraser-Fort George regional district and its municipal government members.

That’s a one-time payment but the alliance’s goal is a regular income stream of a percentage of tax revenues collected by the Province or an annual allocation.

The alliance also takes the position it is hard to recruit and retain people in the north if recreational, educational and health services available elsewhere in the province are lacking.

Just Posted

Port Clements gets cell service

Telus built a $500,000 wireless communication site for the remote Haida Gwaii village

Identifying child care space needs on the island

B.C. government is providing a $25,000 grant for more than 70 communities to help improve daycare

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Sk’aadgaa Naay slips in Fraser Institute elementary school rankings

The school stayed at a rating of 5, but slipped to 694th rank in 2017/18

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients to drop by 31 per cent: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read