Some Houston councillors have been traveling, and they reported their findings at the June 7 Houston council meeting.
Many, including the mayor, attended the Minerals North con in Smithers last month. Councillor Dawn Potvin announced that Houston will be the 2018 host for this conference. According to its website, Minerals North “…provides an opportunity for local communities to showcase their capacity to service the mineral industry, for community leaders to learn about economic and policy issues that affect the minerals sector and for the industry to be informed of local issues and community goals,” according to the conference website.
“Setting up a Minerals North Committee has to be our first priority,” said Potvin. “The (large) amount of dedicated volunteers that are needed to run an event of this size will need to be addressed immediately.”
Councillor Tim Anderson attended the 2016 Community Forest conference in Lake Cowichan in late May. The event was hosted by the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Cooperative and the Pacheedaht First Nation. Anderson said discussions at the conference included pending legislation that will affect the distribution of forest products. He said he found that no other community forest seems to have an industry as its manager. Houston’s community forest licence is held by the Dungate Community Forest Limited partnership. CanFor administers that licence on their behalf.
Councillor Potvin attended a Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Winnipeg in early June. She said Prime Minister Trudeau told delegates that it won’t be Ottawa’s job to decide how districts spend infrastructure money because those decisions need to be made based on local priorities.
“Hopefully we will get some of those dollars,” said Potvin.
The Federal Government has promised $60 billion in infrastructure funding for municipalities to be offered in two phases over the next several years.