Resource Municipalities Coalition represented at B.C. Natural Gas Symposium

The symposium will examine challenges and opportunities as B.C. develops a new LNG industry. The newly formed coalition is an outcome of a discussion last month about forming a umbrella group to represent municipalities in Northeast B.C.,  managing the huge growth expected in the natural gas and other resource industries over the next decade.

Mayor Lori Ackerman will provide information on some of the key challenges and impacts municipalities in the Northeast will face as the industry grows in our community.

“The role of municipalities in supporting the natural gas and other resource industries in the Northeast is to provide affordable homes, adequate education, good healthcare, other vital services and recreation facilities for families to enjoy,” Ackerman states. “Our coalition will work cooperatively with all our partners to ensure the proper comprehensive regional planning occurs that will guide development of municipalities and regional infrastructure.”

Ackerman adds, “When we look at what’s coming in the natural gas sector along with projects like B.C. Hydro’s Site C dam and more growth in forestry, mining and other resource sectors, our new coalition can’t begin comprehensive regional planning soon enough.”

Senator Richard Neufeld, an honorary member, was B.C.’s longest serving Minster of Energy before joining the senate. He’s responsible for many of the programs that have led to the development of B.C.’s shale gas industry over the past decade, and says municipal planning is a critical part of the development process.

“Resource municipalities provide 95 per cent of the services to local residents, industry, rural residents and First Nations,” says Neufeld. “It is critical for municipalities tin the Northeast to plan and prepare properly for the decade of development that is coming soon and the thousands of new workers and their families that will call the region home.”