New B.C. government brings hope of shared revenue

John Horgan was the only candidate that committed to a deadline

  • Jul. 19, 2017 1:30 a.m.

British Columbia’s new premier, John Horgan, was the only major party leader who committed to start negotiations for a revenue sharing agreement with northwest B.C. by September 2017 during the election.

The Northwest B.C. Resource Benefit Alliance (RBA), a group of local governments committed to achieving a revenue sharing agreement for the region, is now actively preparing to work with the new NDP-Greens government.

However, Bill Miller, RBA Chair and Director of Electoral Area B (Burns Lake rural), says he expects some delays.

“The RBA has every expectation that negotiation of a revenue sharing arrangement will proceed in due course,” said Miller. “However, right now our thoughts are with the thousands affected by the extreme wildfire emergency affecting our province.”

“While negotiations were promised by September, we recognize that the current state of emergency and the long delay in swearing in the government will result in a delay,” he continued. “That said, the fiscal situation for northwest B.C. local governments continues to deteriorate, so it is important that negotiations not be delayed any longer than necessary.”

Miller added that the RBA is prepared to sit down with the new government as soon as that can be arranged.

“We also expect our local MLAs, all of whom expressed support for the RBA during the campaign, to work hard on behalf of the people of northwest B.C. to help us make this happen,” he said. “We expect to meet with the four northwest MLAs within the next few weeks provided the fire situation doesn’t worsen.”

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen told Black Press that he will also continue to advocate for a revenue sharing agreement.

“There is precedent in other parts of the province, and we have a commitment to initiate negotiations this fall,” he said. “Sharing some of the wealth generated in northwestern B.C. with the communities and residents of northwestern B.C. is the fair thing to do.”

Miller said the RBA plans to start negotiations by asking the provincial government for three per cent of the revenue generated in northwest B.C.

“We’re not asking for big sums of money,” said Miller. “What we’re asking for is a percentage of what goes out; if there’s no development, there’s no revenue flow. So it’s certainly not going to impact their coffers.”

The RBA estimates that current infrastructure needs in northwest B.C. total $600 million.

Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Property sales up in Houston in 2017

Average selling price of single-family homes has also increased

Alexandra Park, undeveloped wonderland

Alexandra Park is located behind the Houston Leisure Facility at the end… Continue reading

Public’s help needed with tick survey

Tick infestations can directly impact the survival rates of moose

Canada’s unemployment reaches historic low

B.C.’s unemployment rate lowest among all provinces

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Animal protection group urges B.C. vet association to ban cat declawing

Nova Scotia was the first Canadian province to ban declawing

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

B.C. hockey player nominated for Hobey Baker Award

Myles Powell is a forward at Rochester Institute of Technology

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Most Read