April 29, 2017
All of the candidates in the four Electoral Districts of Northwest B.C., have now expressed varying degrees of support for the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) and negotiation of a regional revenue sharing agreement with the provincial government, should they be elected.
“It is gratifying that so many candidates understand the situation Northwest local governments have been placed in because of the costs imposed by major developments that do not pay taxes in affected municipalities. Regional revenue sharing is needed and the support of the candidates will help. However, what we really need is a strong commitment from the three major party leaders to promptly begin negotiations for a proportional regional revenue sharing agreement, if they form government. So far, we have heard nothing despite contacting the leaders over two weeks ago,” says Bill Miller, RBA Chair and Chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.
Specifically, on April 12, 2017 the RBA made the following request to the three leaders:
“We are asking for your promise and a confirmation response, that beginning no later than September 9, 2017, your government will negotiate in good faith with the RBA to reach an agreement under which the region will receive a meaningful share of provincial revenues generated by economic development activity in Northwest B.C.”
“Now that we have heard from the candidates, we are looking forward to hearing from the party leaders in the next few days,” says Barry Pages, RBA Vice-chair and Chair of the North Coast Regional District. “It’s vital that voters know the parties’ level of commitment to Northwest, B.C. before election day.”
“Whatever the outcome of the election, the provincial government will be hearing from us as soon as they take office. The development boom is already happening and it’s well past time this important issue was dealt with,” says Mayor Phil Germuth, RBA Vice-chair and Chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine.
The RBA is comprised of the 18 municipalities and three regional districts in the Northwest, from Masset to Vanderhoof. It was created to negotiate a revenue sharing agreement with the provincial government.
Bill Miller, RBA Chair and Chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako
Barry Pages, RBA Vice-chair and Chair of the North Coast Regional District
Mayor Phil Germuth, RBA Vice-chair and Chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine