The Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA), made up of 21 local governments from Masset to Vanderhoof, has been asking British Columbia for a new funding agreement since 2014.
The provincial government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA), bringing them closer to a new revenue-sharing agreement.
The RBA, made up of 21 local governments from Masset to Vanderhoof, has been asking British Columbia for a new funding deal since 2014.
“I am delighted that we are one step closer to an agreement by signing this memorandum of understanding. A finalized agreement will be a game-changer for all communities in the North West, as it will give us the ability to maintain and upgrade infrastructure in our communities, which is so desperately needed,” said Sean Bujtas, Councilor of the Town of Terrace and Member of the RBA Steering Committee.
Most projects generating economic activity in the northwest are located outside municipal boundaries, resulting in low revenues for local governments and significant costs for communities in the region, the city’s website says. RBA.
Therefore, the RBA is lobbying the provincial government to share the revenue generated from these large projects with local communities. The RBA’s website argues that the provincial government gets enough money through big projects to support communities in the North West while making a “huge contribution to the general revenues of the BC government.”
“If successful, this deal would be a revenue-sharing agreement with the province that could generate millions of dollars a year for Prince Rupert and other Northwestern communities,” wrote Lee Brain, Mayor of Prince Rupert. on Facebook. “That kind of resourcing would mean the ability to really engage and grow our communities much faster, without having to burden local taxpayers.”
The memorandum of understanding that was signed outlines the commitments of the province and the RBA to work together to assess the impact of current and new industrial developments in the region. It dictates the principles that both parties have agreed to follow during the process and the steps that will be taken in the future.
“We know northwest British Columbia has unique needs and is growing rapidly,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “By signing this memorandum of understanding, our government is committing to listen to the voices of rural and northern regions, and we will work together to meet the needs of the people of this beautiful region.
The memorandum of understanding stipulates that a working group, made up of employees from the Department of Municipal Affairs, the Department of Finance and members of the ARB, will analyze the financial needs and capacity of communities and identify projects, causes and problems that require funding.
The working group will meet at least every six weeks with the aim of providing a summary report by March 31, 2023. The intention of the report is to describe progress towards a common understanding of how industrial development historical and current can affect local government infrastructure. and livability in the area, states the memorandum of understanding.
“The Northwest Resource Benefit Alliance is an important opportunity for our member municipalities and electoral areas to partner and plan with our First Nation neighbors for infrastructure programs and shared services in Northwest British Columbia. said Kris Olsen, Mayor of Daajing Giids. “Our communities are interconnected and we all benefit when we are able to plan and work together. »