B.C. Premier John Horgan, fifth from the left, meets with northwestern B.C. local government representatives belonging to the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance. (File photo)

Benefits alliance to hire fulltime manager

Its goal is more money from the province for local governments

A coalition of northwest local governments is hiring a manager to better pursue its goal of securing more money from the provincial government for its members.

Formed in 2014 and now taking in 21 local governments and three regional districts from Haida Gwaii to Vanderhoof, the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance has been readying itself to negotiate with the province for a portion of resource taxation revenues.

It argues that while local governments shoulder costs such as roads, water, sewer and policing arising from the impact of large-scale industrial activity, they don’t receive tax revenues in return.

“This isn’t just something we can do off the sides of our desks anymore,” said Sean Bujtas, a Terrace city councillor and one of three co-chairs of the alliance, said of the plan to hire a manager. “We need someone full -time.”

To date the alliance has been hiring consultants to press its case and while the alliance may still need consultants on occasion, having a fulltime manager will reduce that need, Bujtas said.

“We expect that person to be hired by April,” he said in adding that the hiring is being handled through Ron Poole, the Kitimat-Stikine regional district’s chief administrative officer.

So far the alliance has been financed by an annual $55,000 contribution from each of its three member regional districts – North Coast, Kitimat-Stikine and Bulkley-Nechako.

An annual expenditure of $100,000 has been set out for the alliance’s new manager.

Bujtas said the manager’s salary will come from within the allocations from the three regional districts.

The alliance’s financial position was bolstered last year by a one-time $300,000 grant from the provincial government.

The provincial government did recognize the alliance’s argument that money is needed for infrastructure in the north last month by saying it would divide $100 million between its membership as well as the Fraser-Fort George regional district and its municipal government members.

That’s a one-time payment but the alliance’s goal is a regular income stream of a percentage of tax revenues collected by the province or an annual allocation.

The alliance also takes the position it is hard to recruit and retain people in the north if recreational, educational and health services available elsewhere in the province are lacking.

Email the newsroom

Visit our Facebook page

Typos? Email the editor!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

KUTE expands service to accept paper products

Prior to May 23 the facility had only been accepting cardboard since it reopened on April 22

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

Locals getting good grades when it comes to social distancing: RCMP

The local detachment said the public has been responsible with adhering to COVID-19 practices

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read