Premier commits to revenue talks

Premier commits to revenue talks

Agreement expected to be reached within six months

Premier John Horgan has confirmed he and his senior government officials will collaborate, beginning immediately, with northwest B.C. leaders on a resource benefits sharing agreement.

Leaders of the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) met with the premier last week during the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual convention.

“The meeting was unequivocally the most positive meeting we’ve had with the provincial government since the beginning of the RBA,” said Bill Miller, RBA chair and Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako chair. “After four years of empty promises we have finally gotten to the negotiation table.”

“The senior government officials understand this type of agreement will not only benefit the northwest, but the whole province,” added Miller. “It is a critical component to enable the northwest region to reach its true potential and contribute to the province’s economic future in a very positive way.”

The provincial government and RBA leaders are hoping to reach an agreement within six months.

Formed in 2014, the RBA represents 21 local governments in the regional districts of Bulkley-Nechako, Kitimat-Stikine and Skeena-Queen Charlotte. The RBA estimates that current infrastructure needs in northwest B.C. total $600 million.