The Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA)

Formed in 2014, the RBA is a regional association consisting of 21 local governments, including three regional districts (North Coast, Bulkley-Nechako, Kitimat-Stikine) and their 18 member municipalities.

RBA’s Mission

Since 2015, the RBA has engaged the BC government to discuss the region’s challenges in raising the revenues required to build the necessary community infrastructure to support resource development and the social infrastructure required to ensure that Northwest communities are places where industries, businesses, workers, and their families can thrive.

RBA’s Request

Members of the RBA are seeking Provincial commitment to:

  • Recognize the role that Northwest BC has in the provincial economy.
  • Provide long-term, sustainable funding for capital projects and operating costs to address local infrastructure and servicing needs in Northwest BC.
  • That the Province continue to invest in supporting infrastructure outside of the local government purview, including housing, health care, childcare and education.

Operating Structure

Northwest BC RBA

Role: Signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and final decision making

RBA Steering Committee

  • 1 elected official representing each regional district
    • Mayor Herb Pond, City of Prince Rupert, North Coast Regional District (NCRD)
    • Mayor Sean Bujtas, City of Terrace, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS)
    • Mayor Gladys Atrill, Town of Smithers, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN)
  • CAOs from each regional district
    • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Daniel Fish, North Coast Regional District (NCRD)
    • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Lina Gasser, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS)
    • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Curtis Helgesen, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN)

Role: Provide working direction

Negotiating Team

  • Ron Poole, RBA Management Consultant
  • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Daniel Fish, North Coast Regional District (NCRD)
  • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Lina Gasser, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS)
  • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Curtis Helgesen, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN)

Role: Negotiate with provincial government

RBA Project Management Team

  • Ron Poole, RBA Management Consultant
  • Lori Stark, Executive Assistant

Role: Project administration for the RBA

CAO Advisory Group

  • CAOs from each member local government

Role: Provide advice and support project implementation

Where are we now?

Following the 2017 provincial election, the RBA successfully engaged the province to begin negotiating a new funding agreement. This process is currently underway based on a strong commitment from the Premier.

The provincial government has provided $300,000 in funding to be used, in part, to enable the RBA to work closely with stakeholders, including project proponents, labour, First Nations, local businesses and the social services sector.

The RBA and the provincial government share a vision of economic development that creates sustainable communities and good local jobs. It is the RBA’s intention that when a funding deal is reached with the province, it will help achieve the objective of creating sustainable communities that will be able to support economic activity in the Northwest now and into the future.

RBA Key Event Timeline

May 2013

Premier Christy Clark promised the NWBC revenue sharing negotiations during the 2013 provincial election.

May 2013

BC Liberal Government re-elected.

July 2014

The Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance is formed 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.

September 2014

RBA meets Premier, Minister Oakes and Minister Coleman at UBCM, they reaffirm commitment and advise ready to negotiate.

December 2014

RBA develops negotiation timetable and framework.

January 2015

RBA meets with Premier's Chief of Staff, BC government commits to interest-based negotiations.

April 2015

Provincial government rejects commencement of revenue sharing and capacity funding, stating negotiations premature.

May-June 2015

RBA Chairs send letter to the Premier urgently requesting meeting, Premier states Minister Oakes would follow up.

June 2015

The RBA expands to include the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and the North Coast Regional District, as well as all member municipalities and Electoral Areas. This brings the RBA membership to include all 21 local governments.

September 2015

Meeting with Minister Fassbender at UBCM to ask provincial government to honour January 2015 commitment to start negotiations.

December 2015 - March 2017

RBA and Ministry continue exchanges over an extended period of time. RBA submits Case Report in Jan 2017, Minister sends acknowledgment letter Mar 2017 advising report under review with staff.

April 2017

Province continues to defer negotiations, no revenue sharing agreement in place.

April 28, 2017

RBA issues news release: New poll results find Northwest B.C. residents want a revenue sharing agreement.

May 1, 2017

Follow-up letter sent to party leaders requesting promise and confirmation response that negotiations will begin no later than September 9, 2017.

May 3, 2017

RBA issues formal statement: NDP’s John Horgan Supports Revenue Sharing.

May 6, 2017

RBA issues formal statement: Christy Clark says NO to the RBA.

May 9, 2017

The 41st British Columbia general election was held to elect members of the Legislative Assembly to serve in the 41st B.C. Parliament.

May 17, 2017

RBA issues formal statement: Statement: RBA Invites Newly Elected MLAs to Work Together.

August 9, 2017

Meetings in Victoria with Hon. Doug Donaldson, Hon. Selina Robinson, Hon. Carole James, Jennifer Rice, Geoff Meggs and Andrew Weaver.

August 14, 2017

RBA issues news release: NDP Government Reaffirms Commitment to Revenue Sharing for Northwest BC.

September 29, 2017

RBA Leaders meet with Premier Horgan to start revenue sharing agreement discussions

April 10, 2018

The provincial government provides the RBA with $300,000 to support its continued efforts to strengthen economic development in the region.

February 16, 2019

The provincial government announces $100-million Northern Capital and Planning Grant to reinvest back into the Northwest.