The B.C. government has formally agreed to examine infrastructure needs in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM) and how they might be funded in future, announced Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm on behalf of Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
As a result of potential growth in the natural gas extraction industry, there is concern from NRRM that it may be unable to meet the need for expansion of housing and development of industrial services from the property tax base alone.
Chong, Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman, and NRRM Mayor Bill Streeper have signed a memorandum of understanding committing the B.C. government to examine the needs of the community and determine the best approach to providing infrastructure in the region.
Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development -
"I appreciate that our northeastern communities have unique and specific challenges. The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality is anticipating growth in the natural gas extraction industry, and we are working closely with the municipality to prepare for increased infrastructure needs. This agreement is a commitment to gather information about what approach would be best suited for this region."
Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines -
"The expansion of the oil and gas industry in northeast B.C. benefits the entire province by strengthening our economy and creating vital jobs for B.C. families. It's important for us to ensure that the communities hosting this industry are able to sustain the associated population growth and demand for services."
Pat Pimm, MLA for Peace River North -
"This memorandum of understanding has been one of my highest priorities during my time as an elected MLA. By being proactive and working together locally and at the provincial level, we have taken a significant step to ensuring the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality can reach its potential as a service centre for the natural gas industry. I look forward to seeing the report once it's complete."
Mayor Bill Streeper, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality -
"The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality is home to Canada's largest shale gas reserve, a vital energy supply to British Columbia and Canada. Fort Nelson is the service centre for the shale gas industry in the Northern Rockies and will become the new home community for the thousands of skilled workers and their families required to keep the industry going.
"We are very pleased the B.C. government is working in partnership with us to realize maximum benefits from the area that will supply B.C.'s new LNG industry and ensure Fort Nelson is developed sustainably to support the families required to make this happen."
- The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality was incorporated in 2009. The area of the NRRM encompasses the entire former Northern Rockies Regional District, including the former Town of Fort Nelson (First Nations reserves are excluded).
- While the NRRM is not within a regional district, it is effectively a municipality like any other.
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development