The Province and regional government leaders have reached a new agreement on Fair Share. The value of the agreement is $1.1 billion over the next 20 years and annual payments in 2016 will start at $50 million.
After 2020 the amount will increase at an agreed annual rate of growth through to at least 2035.
As part of the agreement there are provisions that allow the re-opening of the annual rate of growth payment in 2023, and 2031, as well as re-negotiating a new base and annual rate of growth to take place after 2035.
Communities will also be receiving $3 million this year for approval of the agreement, on top of the $46 million that was paid to signatories at the end of April. The Peace River Regional District is also receiving $1 million for the Partnership Committee.
In a release Premier Christy Clark said, “Northeast communities play a fundamental role in growing B.C.’s diverse economy. That is why we’re committed to making sure the region gets the long-term benefits of this growth in a way that provides certainty and stability. I want to thank local leaders for their vision and commitment to an agreement that works not only in the best interests of Peace River residents, but all of British Columbia’s taxpayers, for at least the next 20 years.”
Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman said, “As the region is unique with respect to limited access to the industrial property tax base, this agreement provides funding security for the next 25 years that will bring additional capacity to our municipalities and rural areas to address historical infrastructure deficits and make investment decisions related to future growth. I look forward to working with the Province as chair of the Peace River Regional District and mayor of the City of Fort St. John to ensure we continue to develop those
linkages to unincorporated industrial growth and invest in legacies for our communities. In addition, the Fort St. John council welcomes the special 2015 payment, and looks forward to a conversation with the community on the development of a legacy project.”
Announcement of the agreement was made shortly after 12 p.m. in Dawson Creek by Premier Clark. Clark will be making her way to Fort St. John to tour the Pomeroy Sport Centre at 3 p.m.