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Province to spend $1 million on northwestern B.C. planning

THE provincial government says it's going to give northwestern B.C. local governments up to $1 million to handle growth pressures tied to industrial development.

The money will flow in two equal streams – one to figure out what water, sewer, road and other projects are needed and the other to adapt land use and other associated bylaws as industrial expansion takes place.

Local governments have been asking the provincial government for assistance for some time as the regional economy improves.

Should any of the planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects proceed, the municipalities have said, there's going to be increased pressure for services as more people and more businesses more into the area.

Community, sport and cultural development minister Coralee Oakes made the announcement at noon today at Terrace city hall.

The $1 million commitment tops one of $150,000 made by Premier Christy Clark last fall.

No final investment decisions have been made on any of the LNG projects being proposed in the region, but the cumulative level of spending and preparatory economic activity has increased the level of business activity, increased the cost of housing and made rentals more expensive and hard to find.

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