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.

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

 

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

Terrace dental clinic say no staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 22 days after dental conference

Five members of the office attended the Pacific Dental Conference from March 5-7

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

City of Terrace calling on Province to take stricter social distancing measures

The City sent the Province a letter earlier this month with a number of recommendations

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read