21 Northwest BC Local Governments Hold First Summit on Provincial Revenue Sharing

TERRACE, BC, Aug. 13, 2015 /CNW/ - This Saturday, August 15, 2015, the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) will hold its first Summit in Terrace, B.C. The RBA is seeking a revenue sharing agreement with the B.C. government to address infrastructure and servicing impacts, while also providing a legacy from the multi-sector economic expansion now underway in Northwest B.C. All 21-member governments will be represented.

"This Summit will re-affirm our commitment to seeking a revenue sharing agreement with the B.C. government," says Stacey Tyers, Chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine. "The Province has demonstrated a willingness to be proactive in establishing revenue sharing contingent on future revenue streams with individual industry, First Nation, and government players. The Province has committed to such negotiations, but so far after numerous attempts to arrange a meeting with Premier Christy Clark and her staff, the RBA has yet to engage in discussion to begin negotiations."

The Summit will provide a platform for the RBA's government members to discuss economic growth and fiscal outcomes, develop a 2015-2017 Action Plan and ratify the Alliance with an official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The following is set to take place on August 15:

  • A closed morning session where member governments will engage in discussion on local government infrastructure deficits existing in the region, scenarios for regional economic growth and fiscal outcomes.
  • The RBA members will develop an Action Plan (strategy) for advancing the revenue sharing objective—including preparing for the September Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention.
  • In the afternoon, a formal ratification of the RBA MOU and briefing to industry and government officials on purposes of the Alliance and outcomes of the Summit, will take place.

Representatives of industry and the provincial and federal governments will be invited to attend the afternoon signing session at 1:30 pm at the Best Western Terrace Inn.

"The RBA's mandate is to support  large scale development in the region," says Bill Miller, Chair, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. "In order for multi-sector economic expansion in Northwest B.C. to succeed, local governments require the financial resources to provide services and infrastructure necessary to support this development and ensure long term sustainability."

In an announcement made on June 17, 2015, the RBA expanded from an original six, to include all 21 local governments, covering an area of 185,000 square kilometres. All local governments starting from Vanderhoof moving all the way west, are on board, making the sheer size, strength and unity of this Alliance unprecedented.

"The Premier promised revenue-sharing negotiations with Northwest B.C. local governments," says Barry Pages, Chair, Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District. "The Summit is intended to move those negotiations forward.

The RBA will provide a report of outcomes and next steps following the Summit, on Monday, August 17.

A copy of the RBA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is available on the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine website: www.rdks.bc.ca.

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2015/06/17/20150617_C4615_PDF_EN_18184.pdf

For further information:
Stacey Tyers, Chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine – 250- 615-1186
Bill Miller, Chair, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako – 250-692-9940
Barry Pages, Chair, Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District – 250-624-2002
Mayor Phil Germuth, District of Kitimat - 250-632-1593; 250-632-2464
Mayor Carol Leclerc, City of Terrace - 250-615-6865
Mayor Lee Brain, City of Prince Rupert - 250-600-4533
Mayor Dave MacDonald, District of Port Edward - 250-628-3667
Mayor Taylor Bachrach, Town of Smithers - 778-210-0877

NWBC Resource Benefits Alliance
300 - 4545 Lazelle Avenue
Terrace, BC, Canada
V8G 4E1

SOURCE Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine

For further information: Media contact: Amanda Munro, communications@rdks.bc.ca, 604-360-3994

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