Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister, Peter Fassbender, announced today that payments totalling $50 million will be provided to eight local governments in the Peace River region at the end of April 2016. These payments will be in accordance with the terms of the 20-year Peace River Agreement (PRA) totalling $1.1 billion over the duration of the agreement.
The PRA was negotiated in 2015 and provides local governments with funding for planning, programs and infrastructure investments that will support the region as an industrial service sector into the future.
Under the PRA, when signatories meet requirements, the Province will provide annual payments to the eight Peace River local governments to a maximum combined total of $50 million per year commencing in 2016 (plus a 2% inflator commencing in 2020). Payments to individual local governments are determined by an allocation formula included in the PRA that is calculated and certified by the Peace River Regional District.
The eight local government recipients that signed the PRA and will share this year’s $50-million payment are: 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.
Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister, Peter Fassbender –
“I am pleased to announce the first annual payments under the new 20-year Peace River Agreement. These payments to the northeast region of British Columbia will present communities with the opportunity to leverage benefits from the oil and gas industry. This is a critical component of the Province’s long-term economic strategy.”
Peace River South MLA, Mike Bernier –
“Communities in B.C.’s northeast can chart their economic future based on the stability and continuity provided by significant support through the Peace River Agreement. As negotiated, substantial annual payments begin this year. The agreement will continue to prove its worth for years to come, by supporting local jobs and services in the Peace River region.”
- In May 2015, the Province and the eight Peace River communities signed a 20-year, $1.1 billion Peace River Agreement (PRA) to develop the Peace River as a northeast service centre for industry and its employees.
- Commencing in 2016, the PRA will provide Peace River communities with annual payments totalling a maximum of $50 million (for all eight communities combined).
- Commencing in 2020, the maximum annual payments under the PRA will grow by 2% annually through to the end of the PRA term.
- Prior to payments being issued under the PRA, the Peace River communities are subject to annual reporting requirements which are reviewed by ministry staff and approved by the Assistant Deputy Minister for Local Government (in accordance with the terms of the PRA). The purpose of the reporting is to determine signatories’ cost eligibility and to provide the Province greater transparency on how funds will be used to better support the region as a service centre for industry and its employees.
- All eight local governments have submitted their 2016 reports to the satisfaction of the Province.
Check out the provincial government’s role in supporting communities, sport, arts and culture through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/cscd