The Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) is a group of 21 local governments across the Northwest from Masset to Vanderhoof, committed to achieving a resource revenue sharing agreement for the region through negotiations with the provincial government.
Over the past five years more than $13 billion has been spent on major capital projects in the region, including pipelines, transmission lines, mines, clean energy projects, port expansions, LNG plant site preparation and an aluminum smelter replacement just to name a few. At the same time, the provincial government has earned at least $500 million in incremental revenue associated with these projects. None of this revenue has come back to the communities.
Local governments estimate that current infrastructure needs in total $600 million. Usually, local governments’ access cost-shared provincial and federal grant programs to help meet their infrastructure needs but this model does not work for everyone. Infrastructure spending by both levels of government has been significant since the 2009 recession, but the Northwest infrastructure deficit has not been reduced.
The RBA is asking the provincial government to negotiate a revenue sharing agreement with the Northwest that would provide local governments with the resources we need to properly address the infrastructure and service gaps in our communities and create a legacy for our children. A revenue sharing agreement would make the Northwest more livable and sustainable, creating a vibrant local economy to complement and diversify the region's resource base.
Negotiations need to start now.
For more information visit the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance website.