The NDP government is continuing with a program started by the Liberals to help rural economies.
It has contributed $50 million to the Peace River region as a regular payment under the Peace River Agreement.
“By supporting Peace River communities, we are giving them the tools to further develop the region, and we are recognizing their roles as economic activity hubs,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a news release. “It’s great to be able to help local governments make life better for people living in their communities.”
The Peace River Agreement gives local governments in the region $1.1 billion over a 20-year period, and helps with planning, programs, asset management and infrastructure investments that support regional economic opportunities.
People in these communities will benefit from a number of funded projects, including road improvements in Chetwynd, information technology enhancements in Fort St. John and a standby power generator in Taylor. The provincial funding will be shared by eight local governments in the region.
The District of Chetwynd, City of Dawson Creek, City of Fort St. John, District of Hudson’s Hope, Village of Pouce Coupe, District of Taylor, District of Tumbler Ridge and Peace River Regional District will share this year’s $50-million payment.
- In May 2015, the Province and eight Peace River local governments signed a 20-year, $1.1-billion Peace River Agreement to develop the Peace River as a service centre for industry and its employees.
- Approximately half of the rural industrial and utility assessment in British Columbia is located in the Peace River region, and is outside of the taxing jurisdiction of the local governments.
- Without adequate access to the tax base, the communities were not well-situated to fulfil their service role.
- The agreement provides the eight Peace River communities with annual payments totalling a maximum of $50 million.
- Starting in 2020, the maximum annual payment will grow by two per cent annually, to account for inflation, through to the end of the agreement in 2036.
- Payments to individual local governments in the Peace River Agreement are determined by an allocation formula that is calculated and certified by the Peace River Regional District.
- Prior to payments being issued under the Peace River Agreement, the Peace River communities are subject to annual reporting requirements, reviewed and approved by the ministry.