Friday, August 14, 2015

Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance to hold Summit on Revenue Sharing

The 21 member governments of the NorthWest British Columbia Benefits Alliance will be meeting in Terrace on Saturday, holding their First Summit to further their goal of revenue sharing with the province of British Columbia.

The one day session at the Terrace Best Western Inn will bring member governments together to discuss issues of infrastructure deficits in the region and review scenarios for regional economic growth and fiscal outcomes.

As well the RBA members will develop an Action Plan for advancing their revenue sharing objectives, keeping an eye on the upcoming Union of BC Municipalities Convention in September as a location to further their efforts.

Also featured as part of Saturday's agenda is an official signing ceremony heralding the Memorandum of Agreement and a briefing for industry and government officials on the the purpose and outcomes of the Summit.

"The RBA's mandate is to support large scale development in the region. In order for multi-sector economic expansion in Northwest B.C. to succeed, local governments require the financial resources to provide services and infrastructure necessary to support this development and ensure long term sustainability.” -- Bill Miller, Chair, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.

In June of this year, the RBA expanded its scope significantly and now covers some 185,00 square miles from Vanderhoof to Haida Gwaii.

Some background to this weekend's summit can be reviewed from this media release from the organization

The City of Prince Rupert signed onto the alliance in January of this year, with Mayor Lee Brain outlining at that time what the City considered key to their involvement with the group.

“There will be a potential of $16-32 billion dollars of new revenue available to the Province through LNG and other industries in Northwest BC, and the RBA is designed to negotiate as a collective voice with the BC Government to receive a fair distribution of those resources” ... “At this stage, Council feels it to be a low risk to join the RBA, and it also does not limit our ability to negotiate taxation agreements directly with potential LNG companies here in Prince Rupert.” -- Mayor Lee Brain at the time of the City of Prince Rupert aligning up with the NW BC Resource Benefits Alliance

Prince Rupert had been reviewing its options regarding membership through much of 2014, some of those discussion can be examined below:

October 2014 -- Northwest Benefit Alliance outlines its mission for City Council
October 2014 -- Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance to make presentation to council tonight
September 2014 -- Council candidate urges quick movement on Northwest alliance initiative
September 2014 -- Council giving thought to joining Northwest Alliance initiative

The Resource Benefits Alliance plans to provide a report on the events of this weekend in the early part of next week.

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