The Chairs of the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) met with new provincial government ministers, MLAs and senior staff to begin discussions regarding revenue sharing for the Northwest.
The RBA Chairs and northern communities received an overwhelming reaffirmation of the NDP provincial government’s election promise to begin negotiations for a revenue sharing agreement fit for the Northwest, beginning this fall.
“We commend the new BC NDP government’s steadfast commitment to the RBA,” says RBA Chair Bill Miller. “Revenue sharing is the single most important issue to Northwest BC communities. We are pleased and grateful that the ministers, Mr. Weaver and senior staff made time for us and offered such strong support at this very busy time of transition for the government.”
“The BC NDP’s commitment to starting negotiations with the RBA already feels very different than the approach taken by the former Liberal government,” says Co-Chair Barry Pages. “We have no doubt that the hard work that has been put in by all the local governments, community members and residents will pay off soon.”
It is “important and significant it is to have all 21 local governments [of the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance group] from Vanderhoof to Masset, working together,” says Co-Chair Mayor Phil Germuth. “Coming together in solidarity on an issue that faces all of us is going to be key to ensuring the Northwest region gets what it needs to move from a have-not region to achieve its full potential.”
“The provincial government will now determine which ministry and senior staff representatives will lead negotiations with the RBA,” says Mayor Lee Brain. “The ministers are already familiar with the RBA issues, so we are confident that the right team will be put together quickly.”
“We look forward to sitting down with Premier Horgan at the upcoming annual UBCM conference in September to discuss the next steps in getting negotiations started this fall,” says Chair Bill Miller.
Leaders present at the meeting were: RBA Chair Bill Miller; Co-Chair Mayor Phil Germuth; Co-Chair Barry Pages; Mayor Lee Brain; Hon. Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development; Hon. Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Hon. Carole James, Minister of Finance; Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary; Emergency Preparedness and Premier Horgan’s Chief of Staff, Geoff Meggs and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.
– files from nwresourcebenefits.ca press release August 14, 2017.