Rural advisors seek public input

“My biggest priorities are health care for rural communities and education,” said Rural Advisor Bill Holmberg.

The Rural Advisory Council met with Premier Christy Clark and other BC Government staff in Victoria April 24.

The Rural Advisory Council met with Premier Christy Clark and other BC Government staff in Victoria April 24.

Rural Advisory Council members are looking for public input on the issues facing rural communities.

The Rural Advisory Council was formed by the province in March 2015, and mandated to give input to B.C. government decisions on behalf of rural B.C. communities.

Houston’s former mayor Bill Holmberg is one of 14 council members from across B.C.

Holmberg says their key focus is on the big picture of what is best for all rural communities in B.C.

“Some of my biggest priorities are health care for rural communities and education,” he said.

“You’re not going to have rural communities if you don’t have decent health care.”

They will also discuss a rural dividend and First Nations settlements, Holmberg said.

Right now, members of the Rural Advisory Council are seeking input from their communities on topics to discuss.

Holmberg says he plans to meet with mayors and councils of Houston, Smithers and Hazelton, as well as with local First Nations.

The Rural Advisory Council had an introductory meeting in Victoria April 23 and 24.

They had general talks from Premier Christy Clarke and Minister of Forests Steve Thomson, as well as visits from several other ministers and MLAs.

Holmberg says the Rural Advisory Council seems to be a diverse team of level-headed people who are there to get things done.

Holmberg says their next meeting will be at the end of June, where they will discuss topics like health care, education and the rural dividend.

“A lot of the issues throughout B.C. are the same,” he said.

Holmberg invites the anyone with input for discussion topics to call him at 250-845-8258.