From left to right: Barry Pages, RBA Co-Chair, Carol Leclerc, City of Terrace Mayor, Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast, Lee Brain, City of Prince Rupert Mayor, BC Premier John Horgan, Bill Miller, RBA Chair, Stacey Tyers, City of Terrace Councillor, and Phil Germuth, RBA Co-Chair and District of Kitimat Mayor.

Premier reaffirms support for resource benefits alliance

RBA’s meeting with John Horgan invigorates hope for agreement within six months

Despite a lacklustre letter from the minister of municipal affairs, the Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance is moving forward with optimism after an upbeat meeting with Premier John Horgan.

RBA board members met the premier at the Union of BC Municipalities conference last week, and said in a press release that Horgan confirmed his government will collaborate on a revenue-sharing agreement.

“Yesterday’s meeting was unequivocally the most positive meeting we’ve had with the provincial government since the beginning of the RBA. After four years of empty promises we have finally gotten to the negotiation table,” said Bill Miller, the RBA chair.

“The 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.”

The RBA expects to reach an agreement in the next six months, a timeframe strengthened by the unified support from the two NDP and two BC Liberal MLAs in the Northwest.

In August, following a series of meetings in Victoria, the RBA publicly praised the new provincial government for its commitment to start negotiations. But that attitude wasn’t reflected in a Sept. 20 20 letter addressed to the North Coast Regional District, from Selina Robinson, minister of municipal affairs.

The minister appeared to downplay the province’s level of commitment, noting that the Northwest already receives per capita provincial funding of $758 per person, compared with $473 in the Northeast and $46 in the Lower Mainland.

Robinson added local governments, First Nations and non-profits in the Northwest have also subscribed to the Rural Dividend program, which supports community economic development and diversification. About $3 million has been awarded so far, and a third intake is now under review with requests for over $3.3 million.

Nonetheless, following the UBCM meetings, the RBA says it was reassured the government is committed to finding a way to make the revenue-sharing agreement happen.

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

Just Posted

What’s your housing story? Port Clements needs assessment is underway

Survey of current residents, landlords, future residents runs until April 15

Port Clements applies for Community Trails and Recreation Program Grant

New hope for community trail projects impacted by reallocation of Rural Dividend money

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

COVID-19: Old Massett Emergency Operations Centre erects three checkpoints

Old Massett Village Council letter says checkpoint locations are New Town, Yakan Point, Old Massett

COVID-19: B.C. reports 4 deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

Most Read