Prince Rupert Mayor Pushing for Resource Benefits Alliance

Brittany Webster

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain says the decision to reallocate the Rural Dividend Fund to forest dependant communities was most likely the best choice at this time, and he followed it up by saying he believes the Resource Benefits Alliance is a better long-term strategy for supporting Northwestern municipalities.

The rural dividend fund requires an application and places limitations on funding for specific projects, whereas Brain says the resource benefits alliance, a funding agreement in which Northwestern communities would benefit from economic growth in the area, would allow for communities to mobilize into action.

"Earlier this year we received a capital grant, Northern capital grant for about $100 million, and that was an $8 million chunk for Prince Rupert specifically, and every other community had their own allocation. So if we had a regional agreement, like the Resource Benefits Alliance, we could see that type of revenue on an annual basis here. And that would mean not only fix and contribute to infrastructure and help build a new downtown and help build new parks and help build new waterfronts and things like that, but also do climate related initiatives, invest into housing, and do a whole variety of things without it being on the local taxpayers."

At the Union of BC Municiaplities convention last month, Brain says Premier John Horgan committed to the Resource Benefits Alliance.

The mayor added that he expects the rural dividend fund will be reinstated in the next couple of years, but believes the decision to reallocate funds was the right one.

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