Local politicians are relieved after the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) president rescinded a letter to the lieutenant governor voicing opposition to the Green Party’s agreement to support the NDP in the legislature.
And it comes on the heels of an earlier separete letter written by the Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance (NWRBA) congratulating the four northwest MLAs on their victory and expressing the alliance’s belief that no matter which party or parties govern the province, the alliance will be able to negotiate with it.
“Yes, we’re very happy,” said Phil Germuth, vice-chair of the Resource Benefits Alliance, chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and mayor of Kitimat.
“They did the right thing we believe,” he said, referring to the rescinding of the letter.
The alliance is looking forward to meeting with the new government soon to discuss a resource benefits agreement to ensure that the northwest receives its share of the resource money made here that then is sent to the provincial government and currently is way below the amount generated in the northwest.
The rescinding of the letter was appreciated by Terrace’s mayor and the regional district’s Thornhill director.
“It’s a good end result,” said City of Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc late this afternoon, June 6.
Thornhill director for the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine Ted Ramsey agreed.
“I’m glad that’s the way it went,” said Ramsey, about the letter being rescinded.
NCLGA president Shaely Wilber had outlined the association’s concerns with the agreement made between the NDP and Green Party to form a coalition provincial government in a letter to the lieutenant governor dated June 2.
“Our principle concern is that the Opposition contract neglects and disempowers the community-level administration of this region and the families who live and work here. We are a non-partisan association and make no distinction between political ideologies,” Wilber wrote in the letter.
“Our expectation is that all provincial members from the ten ‘northern’ ridings, regardless of party membership, have open and transparent input into any deal-making that might shift the balance of power from one set of MLAs to another….”
In a subsequent email, Wilber apologized for sending out the letter without getting feedback first.
Wilber acknowledged that the she and the NCLGA board agreed unanimously that a letter should be sent to the lieutenant governor; however, the letter was drafted and sent to the board for comment but Wilber admitted an error in “not allowing adequate time for response.”
Late today, the NCLGA announced it had rescinded its letter to the lieutenant governor.
NCLGA executive director Oliver Ray said that, during an emergency meeting held today, the association’s board unanimously recognized that despite the NCLGA’s declared non-partisan status, the letter was perceived as not only partisan but also untimely and inappropriate, according to energeticcity.ca.
Ray added that the board stated it was a mistake to send the letter on behalf of all of the association’s members without it being thoroughly vetted by the board.
He added that the board would be sending out an official letter of apology to all local government leaders, the leaders of the BC Liberal, BC NDP and BC Green parties and to the lieutenant governor.
-with files from energeticcity.ca-
This story has been updated. The original story did not include the RBA vice-chair’s comments.