Editorial: Rising Tide

It was only natural for Terrace city council members to reel off a wish list when they met with energy minister Bill Bennett last month

IT WAS only natural for Terrace city council members to reel off a wish list (new hospital, new aquatic centre, etc.) when they met with energy minister Bill Bennett last month to discuss potential revenue sharing benefits should a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry ever take hold in the region.

After all, Premier Christy Clark led that charge during the May election campaign with talk of a debt-free B.C. bolstered by a $100 billion prosperity fund.

But after listening to council’s wish list, Mr. Bennett was bang on in his assessment. Better to first develop a regional framework involving all local governments so there’s a coherent approach. No one will get everything they want, he added, so it is then a matter of determining what will benefit as many people as possible.

That’s easier said than done given  the multitude of competing differences among local governments who naturally and correctly have the job  of representing their own taxpayers and residents.

And creating a cooperative structure that takes in three regional districts and a score of municipal governments (not to mention First Nations who are arguably ahead of local governments in this regard) would be complicated.

But if LNG is to be the rising tide that floats all boats, there’s really no choice but to start working on this issue right away. After all, no one wants to be in the boat that swamps.