The Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) is a group of local governments committed to achieving fair revenue sharing for the region through negotiations with the provincial government.
The RBA was formed in 2014 by the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, the City of Terrace, the Districts of Kitimat, Stewart and New Hazelton, the Village of Hazelton, and all RDKS Electoral Area Directors.
In July 2015, the RBA was expanded with the addition of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and the North Coast Regional District, as well as all of their member municipalities and Electoral Areas. That brought the RBA membership to all 21 local governments across the Northwest from Masset to Vanderhoof.
A situation that was urgent in 2014 has only become increasingly difficult for Northwest BC communities as development has proceeded but the region has been left worse off.
We Deserve Our Share
Revenue sharing is not a new concept.
The Columbia Basin and Northeast regions of BC have had regional resource revenue sharing arrangements with the provincial government for decades. That additional revenue has enabled them to successfully access cost-shared federal infrastructure funding that is twice what the Northwest has received on a per capita basis.
The provincial government has negotiated many community-specific benefits agreements related to all sorts of developments throughout the province.
The RBA believes that a regional approach is needed in the Northwest because of our region’s unique situation:
• The nature of past and future development is incredibly industrially diverse
• Most of the development projects affect several communities at once, but fiscally benefit none, and
• The whole region deserves a share of the wealth generated in the region.
We are committed to a regional revenue sharing arrangement that would:
• Ensure negotiations begin no later than September 9, 2017;
• Provide a share of the provincial revenue generated over the past five years to give local governments the capacity to prepare for future development and deal with the most urgent infrastructure needs;
• Provide a proportionate share of ongoing revenues to offset ongoing service and infrastructure costs associated with future projects;
• Leave the region better off through significant legacy resources; and
• Enable local governments to determine how contributions under the agreement will be distributed.