Premier Christy Clark breezes through a quick meet and greet with residents gathered at the rally this afternoon, May 5, at the Thornhill Pub. Here Clark is talking to longterm Terrace resident Bill McCrae and shaking hands with Steve Robertson. Standing behind Clark is Terrace city councillor Brian Downie and in front of her is retired forester Bob Willson.

Clark vague on resource benefits sharing

Premier Christy Clark made a quick stop in Thornhill today, her second visit to the Terrace region

PREMIER Christy Clark was evasive this afternoon at a local election rally when asked if her BC Liberal government would negotiate a revenue sharing agreement with the northwest.

In discussion are the hopes of more than 20 local governments in the northwest who are part of the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance, which has been pressing the BC Liberal government to return a greater share of what it earns from resource industry taxes in the region.

The idea is that industry in this region brings the province a lot of tax revenue, but uses infrastructure that is paid for and maintained by local governments.

In a brief one-minute interview, Clark was asked whether she supported the alliance.

“I’m absolutely prepared to talk to the region about resource benefit sharing,” she responded, disputing the suggestion that support has been given by NDP leader John Horgan.

“The funny thing about John Horgan is he doesn’t want to get any of our resources out of the ground so there would be nothing to share. That’s the problem,” said Clark. “Under a John Horgan government, there would be nothing to share.”

Building up to the election, the benefits alliance has made accusations that Clark has previously backed out of a commitment she made during the last election in 2013 to negotiate a revenue sharing agreement with northwest local governments.

But Clark denied those accusations.

“No, it’s not (correct),” she said. “We’ve got a $100 million in our rural dividend fund which we’ve been distributing across the province and we’re going to continue to do that. We’ve extended it again.”

But the alliance says that the challenge is that industrial developments are located outside of local governments, thus they can’t be taxed by those governments.

The alliance has been lobbying recently to have northwestern candidates and party leaders state their positions on resource benefit sharing.

Skeena NDP candidate Bruce Bidgood has said an agreement should be similar to one already in place in the peace river region, where the province provides money to local governments there.

Earlier this week, Horgan endorsed the alliance, saying “a BC NDP government will undertake negotiations with northwest communities to ensure that benefits from future economic development stays in those communities.”

Clark’s response about the alliance came a brief, half-hour rally at the Thornhill Pub in Thornhill this afternoon, May 5.

More than 50 people gathered to see Clark, who came to speak in support of Skeena BC Liberal candidate Ellis Ross.

This was Clark’s third stop out of five planned visits in the region today as the election campaign heads into the final stages leading to the May 9 vote.

Also making an appearance in Thornhill, complete with his trademark bus, was the third person running in Skeena, Merv Ritchie of the Land Air Water party.

 

Premier Christy Clark spoke briefly in support of Skeena BC Liberal candidate Ellis Ross, saying she was confident that he would bring many more jobs to this region.

Just Posted

Missing teen reportedly spotted in Northwest

Police, family greatly concerned over disappearance of Colten Therrin Fleury

Police, Conservation see busy long weekend

Arrests, tickets and warnings follow joint-enforcement initiative

Injury forces end to hiker’s Pacific Crest Trail attempt

Due home this week, Janine Wilson still determined to finish challenge in the future

Vancouver choir to perform joint-concert with two local ensembles

Concert will take place on Saturday, May 26 at the Knox United Church

Construction of LNG Canada plant still on hold

Construction will only begin following a positive final investment decision

Syrian refugee fathers thriving at Skeena Sawmills in Terrace

With work at the mill, the Al Kadro family bought a home and is settling into the local community

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Most Read