Monday, August 17, 2015

Northwest leaders meet on Resource Benefits Alliance

Saturday was a day of discussion, planning and policy making for the 21 communities that make up the Northwest British Columbia Resource Benefits Alliance. Municipal and regional leaders met for the day at the Terrace Best Western on Saturday and by the time the final session had been completed they had hammered out their approach ahead to try and gain further financial benefit from the range of industrial development across the entire Northwest portion of the province.

As we outlined on the blog on Friday, The North Coast was represented by Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain and Barry Pages representing the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District at the gathering, bringing the North Coast perspective to the weekend gathering.

Among some of the key take aways following the conference were:

Attendance at Sessions where the group received expert briefings on projected provincial revenues from economic development in the Northwest over the next 25 years.

Identification of immediate community infrastructure needs

Discussion of possible revenue sharing frameworks 

And the approval of the 2015/16 Action Plan for the Alliance. 

During the information sessions, representatives of Perrin, Thorau and Associates outlined some financial projections for the Benefits Alliance members. Providing some background on the amount of revenue generation that the proposed projects for the region could deliver,  noting that provincial revenues could be expected to generate some 35 billion dollars over the next twenty five years.

Adding that should the Alliance receive a 3 per cent revenue share of those revenues, the region would receive some 1 billion dollars to address pressing community needs.

“This is a historic and commendable process that the 21 Local Governments have been engaged in – we are excited and looking forward to coming up with a revenue sharing agreement with the provincial government to meet the needs of the Northwest ... We are looking forward to the province sitting down with the RBA and coming up with an agreement that is a win-win for everybody.” -- Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance Vice Chair Barry Pages

Terrace Councillor Stacey Tyers
was named Chair of the Northwest
BC Resource Benefits Alliance 

during Saturday's conference  
As well as the discussion forums and information sessions, delegates to the Saturday meeting also formalized their commitment towards the Northwest British Columbia Resource Benefits Alliance by signing the Memorandum of Agreement and putting in place their executive branch to oversee the Alliance's work.

Named to the key executive positions over the weekend were:

Terrace councillor Stacey Tyers, representing the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine who was voted in as the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance Chair.

Bill Miller, from  the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District and Barry Pages from Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District were named as Vice Chairs for the Organization as part of the Saturday conference.

You can review more background from the Saturday session from this information sheet from the NWBC Resource Benefits Alliance.

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