The feedback gained from this engagement project was an integral part of the city’s Position Paper presented to B.C. Hydro in 2012, as well as presentations during the Environmental Assessment hearings of the Joint Review Panel in December of 2013 and January 0f 2014, according to the City of Fort St. John.
“Community members deserve to know the accomplishments that have come as a result of our Position Paper and participation in the Joint Review Panel Hearings,” Mayor Lori Ackerman said. “This remarkable conversation initiated thought and other aspects of community that council have seen as important and staff are now wither working on or is a part of our strategic plan. “we want to share that will community and celebrate the great work the participate in.”
Mayor Lori Ackerman also says she plans to engage in more community dialogue this week to update the public on what’s been accomplished through its engagement with community members, non-profit organizations, local governments in the Peace River region and local provincial agencies, as well as First Nations groups.
Some of the outcomes from the community engagement project include B.C. Hydro’s commitment to maintaining a community consultation office in Fort St. John while also committing to collaboration between the city and its Chamber of Commerce, as well as the North Peace Economic Development Departments for the purpose of developing a local business participation strategy; ensuring local businesses are aware of procurement processes and opportunities associated with Site C.
B.C. Hydro has also committed to an additional 50 affordable housing units inside Fort St. John’s housing stocks – 40 of which are for B.C. Hydro’s use and will be turned over to the city after project completion, while the remaining 10 are to be immediately available to the community.
Finally, the Northeast B.C. Resource Municipality Coalition was a direct result of the engagement project. The coalition’s mandate is to effectively represent municipal interest together when it comes to resource development issues in the future.
“Regardless of the upcoming decision for the Provincial and Federal Governments on whether Site C will move forward, our community can be confident that we’ve made some good progress having gone through this process,” Mayor Ackerman concludes. “Council’s main objective is to promote and protect our community’s interests and it will continue to be, regardless of what comes at us in the future.”