Northwest leaders and the province gathered in Terrace last week to resume negotiations over sharing tax revenues on industrial projects.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen met with the Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance to engage with Mayors, Chairs and Electoral Directors to discuss regional challenges and infrastructure and service delivery needs so that Northwest benefits from the level of economic development activity in the region.
According to a news release, local governments are feeling the pain of growth and council’s and regional boards are straining to meet the challenges.
Smithers Mayor Gladys Atrill was in attendance at the meeting that took place on April 22 and 23.
She said the meeting was positive but things like this are a lot of work.
“The key part of this particular meeting was to make the case that while, things do happen and we all respect the demands that are on the province right now, it doesn’t change the fact that our communities over time have experienced the impact of development without being able to benefit from the revenue,” Atrill said.
She added that this is a process because you are working with another order of government.
Atrill also said that Cullen’s staff were also in attendance which she found was beneficial.
“It allowed us to speak with them one on one in addition to having the official presentation so, I think overall the meeting went well, the case was well made and I think the people who came, came with an open mind and were ready to hear us.” she said.
Atrill added that the key message of the meeting is that the need for revenue sharing has always been there, it’s still here and that we need this to happen now.
She said that next steps will include discussions back and forth with staff.
It is anticipated that a process-oriented Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at UBCM this September.