Houston council

Houston council at UBCM

Council answered a few questions and did some seemingly successful lobbying at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention this year.

Things were a bit different for Houston council at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention this year.

Their meetings with provincial government took on a different style, instead of one-on-one meetings, council had fifteen minutes with Premier Christy Clarke and several ministers all together.

Asked why meetings were different then usual, Councillor Shane Brienen said they didn’t know.

“Almost everyone we talked to from the north was getting put into those,” he said, adding that there were benefits meeting everyone together, as council could get answers right away rather then waiting for the Premier and Ministers to correspond and get back to them.

Their meeting included (1) Premier Christy Clarke, (2) Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, (3) Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, (4) Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, (5) Terry Lake, Minister of Health, and (6) MLA John Rustad.

One priority council had at UBCM was lobbying for funding for upcoming projects, particularly Houston’s deteriorating water reservoir.

Mayor Holmberg said that after the meeting, Shirley Bond asked that they send a draft budget of the water reservoir project.

She promised that “the least she’ll do is get it in front of the Finance Committee,” Holmberg said.

“It won’t happen tomorrow or anything… but it looks like we might get some provincial money.”

Another priority was to discuss forest policies and lobby for West Fraser timber rights to stay local.

Mayor Holmberg said the Competition Bureau will make recommendations, but he wonders what impact it will have anymore.

“The big thing for us is going to be the Morice River Timber Supply Review,” he said.

“It doesn’t sound like that’s coming out until the first quarter of next year.”

As far as lobbying for the timber rights from West Fraser, Holmberg says nothing will happen until the government decides how much timber they have for allotment.

“Maybe our fight to keep West Fraser volume here might be for naught… there might not be volume to fight over,” he said.

LNG projects was also discussed at UBCM, and Holmberg says there was a lot of information and different opinions about where projects are at.

He said there was also an idea of three-tiers of impact from LNG: The northeastern gas fields will have huge benefits, communities with LNG plants will benefit immensely, and who knows if or how communities en route – like Houston – will benefit.

“We were trying to drive home the fact that we need to focus on mines and forestry. Forestry is the industry that’s been the backbone of this province and will continue to be for quite a while,” Holmberg said.

Government seemed open to those ideas, he added.

As for mining, Councillor Michalle Jolly says things seemed fairly positive.

She noted two stats from the mining breakfast: B.C. accounts for more then 20 percent of mineral exploration in Canada, and since 2005, government has put $50 million into Geoscience BC.

“There’s a lot happening in mining,” Jolly said.

 

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Most Read