Members of the Province’s Rural Advisory Council were reappointed for another two-year term by Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson Thursday.
The mandate of the council is to provide input to government policy decisions to best support thriving rural communities, while keeping in mind government’s need to control spending and ensure an overall balanced budget for the province.
“I want to thank the members of the Rural Advisory Council for their commitment and dedication to helping the province support rural communities to thrive and prosper and for providing a strong voice for rural British Columbians,” said MLA Donna Barnett who chairs the council.
The 12 appointed council members include elected officials and representatives from First Nations and economic development organizations from small rural communities throughout B.C., including Tom Hoffman of WIlliams Lake.
Hoffman is a registered professional forester and a board member of Community Futures Cariboo-Chilcotin and the Northern Development Initiative Trust.
The other members are Debra Arnott of Cache Creek, Susan Clovechok of Farimont Hot Springs, Geri Collins of Kamloops, Bill Holmberg of Houston, Chief Roy Jones Jr. of Skidegate, Sue Kenny of Dawson Creek, Jonathan Lok of Port McNeill, Grace McGregor of Christina Lake, Chris Pieper of Armstrong, Sylvia Pranger of Agassiz, Gerry Thiessen of Vanderhoof, and Eric (Rick) Thompson from McBride.
The council provides advice on rural economic development, including rural access to capital and business development support for rural entrepreneurs and businesses. The council also advises on rural community capacity building, including the Rural Dividend.
The council is chaired by Barnett and meets on a quarterly basis.