The Province is providing $39.4 million to the Peace River Region through the 2013 instalment of the Peace River Memorandum of Understanding.
The announcement was made by Blair Lekstrom and Pat Pimm, MLAs for Peace River South and Peace River North respectively, on behalf of Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
The Provincial/Peace River MOU, provides at least $20 million annually to the Peace River Regional District, indexed to changes in the rural industrial property tax base. Funding for this installment has been allocated in Budget 2012-13.
The grant provides funds to Peace River communities that cannot assess taxes in areas that would ordinarily be within their industrial property tax bases. The industrial tax base is located outside the boundaries of the region's municipalities, making conventional taxation practices impossible.
The funds are divided among local governments within the regional district through a formula determined by the region. With this new round of funding, this MOU has now delivered $259.1 million to communities and rural areas in the Northeast.
Representatives from the communities of Chetwynd, Hudson's Hope, Taylor, Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Pouce Coupe were signatories to the MOU.
Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom -
"The Peace River Fair Share Agreement transfers important funding into our Northeast region. As activity in the oil and gas sectors continues to increase, it is important that this area of the province maintains and upgrades the necessary infrastructure for business, workers and families working and living up here. So far, $259.1 million has been delivered to the region."
Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm -
"In the Peace River region, most of the industry infrastructure is located outside of municipal boundaries, which prevents municipalities from collecting tax on the properties. This agreement helps ensure Peace communities can continue to provide essential services despite not being able to access the industrial tax base. Strengthening communities in the north helps strengthen the province as a whole, so we all benefit."
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development