Premier to visit the Peace Country Friday; expected to announce Fair Share Deal

The Premier’s office has confirmed she will visit the Dawson Creek Water Reclamation building Friday morning and will then make a stop at the Pomeroy Sport Centre in Fort St. John that afternoon.

The announcement on the Fair Share agreement will be made at 11:45 a.m.  For weeks, local officials have said negotiations were over and the announcement of a new deal was only days away.

The Provincial Government sought to break an existing 15-year deal, signed in 2005, in order to address its falling revenues, following the down turn in the oil and gas industry. The government wanted to negotiate a new 15-year deal, with more affordable terms, and an expiration date of 2030. However, communities in the region, most notably Fort St. John and Taylor objected to the proposed changes as it would mean a $6 million reduction revenue for 2015, and a further potential reduction of $70 million by 2019.

Fair Share was created in 1998, initially to provide funds for infrastructure renewal in the Peace River Regional District, for a period of 10 years. Thanks to the commitment on the part of the provincial government to the needs of communities in BC’s northeast, Fair Share continues to bridge the gap between the economic benefits of having access to the industrial tax base when it’s located outside municipal boundaries but is still putting a strain on local policing, water, sewer, roads and hospitals.