Fort St. John and Taylor respond to Province’s desire to renegotiate Fair Share agreement

The City of Fort St. John and the District of Taylor have sent a joint letter to Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes in response to the Province’s desire to revisit the existing Fair Share agreement. In the letter both communities state that while they will attend and participate in meetings pertaining to the existing or future agreements, that they are not in agreement with reopening the Memorandum of Understanding.

In the letter the communities point to the fact that the Province is entered into an agreement with the Peace River Regional District and the involved municipalities which took effect in March of 2005, and does not expire until March 2020. The agreement includes three sections which say:

Section seven: When the Region acts under this MOU it requires the unanimous consent of the PRRD and its member municipalities.

Section eight: Notwithstanding the date of execution of this MOU, the term of this MOU will commence on March 18, 2005 and expire on March 30, 2020.

Section 21: At least one year prior to the expiry of this MOU, the Parties agree to enter discussions to determine whether the Parties are willing to consider entering into a new agreement when the current MOU expires.

Based on the above the City of Fort St. John and District of Taylor state that considering two of the involved communities are against actions that would alter the current agreement, the Province should not be able to unilaterally open it again for renegotiations. Fort St. John and Taylor also note that in 2013 Premier Christy Clark committed to extending the agreement by ten years to 2030.

More recently Minister Oakes had sent a letter to the involved communities indicating the Province’s desire to evaluate the existing agreement with a deadline of April 30, 2015.

The Fair Share agreement provides an annual provincial grant in lieu of access to the oil and gas tax base.

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