Trades programs and the Farmer’s Advocacy Office are on the City of Fort St. John’s agenda for this year’s Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention.
The 2010 UBCM is a week-long meeting between all B.C. municipalities in which they discuss issues relevant to local government and meet with provincial cabinet ministers.
Mayor Bruce Lantz is attending this year’s convention in Whistler and says city officials will be meeting with several ministers to discuss pertinent issues for the City’s future and any potential concerns.
Lantz says one of the ministers they will be meeting with is Moira Stilwell, minister of advanced education and labour market, about the Northern Opportunities Program
The program allows high school students to take a dual credit program where they earn high school credits as well as credits towards a trades program. The City will be trying to ensure that program’s source of provincial funding continues.
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Lantz says one benefit of the program is that more than 90 per cent of graduates stay in the Northeastern region to work.
City officials will also be meeting with Bill Bennett, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources. Lantz says they hope to discuss the possibility of having a bridge built across the Peace River to provide a more direct route between Fort St. John and Chetwynd. However, he adds that it would depend upon whether the proposed Site C dam is built.
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Furthermore, he says they will be lobbying the minister to have the Farmer’s Advocacy Office moved from Dawson Creek to Fort St. John. He says he feels moving the office would put it in a more central location and better able to serve the region. He also says that the Office would have better access to the Oil and Gas Commission – which it would be dealing with frequently – in Fort St. John.