The motion was made by Director Lori Ackerman, who proposed sending a letter to the ALC indicting the PRRD would like to look at an agreement.
“We have an opportunity to follow the ALC Act and make the decisions here, locally, thereby speeding up the time frame,” she argues. “We have a very narrow construction window, and my concern is that we’ve got people who have a decision made here at the board, and they have to wait to another construction season, which could drive up the cost of whatever it is they’re trying to do.”
If the PRRD was successful in signing a delegation agreement, it would only be able to make decisions on applications involving subdivisions and non-farm use, while other requests like exclusions would still need higher approval.
Both Directors Arthur Hadland and Gwen Johansson expressed their concerns with the idea, unsure that the board would be able to make impartial decisions.
“I think that it’s very difficult for a local government body to restrain itself,” Johansson argues. “There’s just a lot of local pressure, and I think that the system that has been set up, it does allow for a distance, and it does allow for there to be a certain amount of objectivity that I think would be threatened.”
Newest Dawson Creek Director Dale Bumstead let the board know that he’s heard the ALC is not entertaining any new delegation agreements until it completes reviews of those with the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and the Regional District of East Kootenay. Chief Administrative Officer Fred Banham also had his doubts that the ALC would be interested on an agreement, based on interactions he’s had.
“I just throw caution to the wind that it has to be two willing parties to enter into an agreement, and while with this motion we may be willing to enter into an agreement, I didn’t hear from the Land Commission that they would come crashing at the door to write something.”
Bumstead voted in favour of the motion, which passed by a close vote.