Clark releases northern and rural B.C. plan

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Liberal leadership candidate Christy Clark has released a plan specifically focusing on B.C.’s northern and rural communities and economies.

The plan, which was released Thursday, outlines various aspects for strengthening ties with both areas of the province in relation to her key point of putting families first.

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Clark says her focus is on altering the way decisions are made, completing projects in a timelier manner, promoting B.C.’s resource industries, creating and protecting jobs and sharing the wealth produced in rural B.C.

Clark had discussed her first point when she was in Fort St. John on Jan. 7. She had said that her plan includes opening up the legislature and allowing various Members of the Legislative Assembly to speak up for their constituents and bring forward private members bills.

A further proposal of Clark’s is to speed up the approval processes for various projects across the province by creating a B.C. Investment Board that would investigate and determine how quickly specific projects are being completed. She says the board would then make recommendations to improve the speed of the different approval processes.

She also says that she will work to meld the provincial and federal environmental approval processes, which factors into her trying to work on a solution to the Prosperity Mine, which had failed the federal environmental approval process.

In respect to northern B.C., Clark says she is determined to market the province’s natural resources, including forestry and natural gas, to Asian markets in particular. She also says she wants to focus on allowing rural communities more decision-making power in determining how grants, such as towards infrastructure, are spent.

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