Again we note the new talks were initiated by the province, which had earlier sought to break the existing 15 year deal signed in 2005, in order to address falling revenues in the wake of the oil and gas industry lull, associated with the dramatic drop in the price of crude oil.
It had put in place an April 30th deadline for negotiating a new 15 year deal, with “more affordable terms” and an expiration date of 2030.
That however, drew strong regional objections, especially from Fort St. John and Taylor, who argued it would mean regional revenues totalling six million dollars less than anticipated this year, and potentially totalling 70 million less by 2019.
Then came word on the aforementioned deadline date, the province had modified it position and had agreed to the region receiving 46 million dollars for the current calendar year, as required under the terms of the existing agreement.
With that done negotiations resumed on terms of the new deal with the province presumably still seeking to cap the annual grants at 40 million a year, instead of allowing them to grow at the rate of industry.
It remains to be seen if the deal now being considered by the regional jurisdictions is still fixed on that proposal, or a newly negotiated alternative.
It’s also important to remember, three different regional groups were represented at the negotiating table, but an agreement must be unanimously approved by all the Peace communities they represent.