The Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) includes signatures from the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and the encompassed Electoral Area, the City of Terrace, the District of Kitimat, Stewart and New Hazelton, as well the village of Hazelton.
Provisions have been made for other interested communities to join RBA.
The RBA plans to pursue resource benefit sharing discussions and negotiations with both the provincial, and where applicable, federal government, and also major resource companies in regards to respected development in the north.
The RBA says they have a responsibility to the 100,000 square kilometres of community involved in the alliance to provide good government services and laws, foster an economic, social and environmental well-being, and ensure that major resource development doesn’t put the long tern sustainability of communities at risk.
Among other major ventures, the RBA is keeping an eye on the development of LNG plants, oil and gas pipelines, port facilities, rail transport, new or expanded mines and hydroelectric projects.
They say major resource development will result in significant temporary and permanent population increase and has serious direct and indirect economic, social, health, environmental and heritage impacts on all RBA communities.
The RBA wants the institutions responsible for resource development to share benefits by providing access to new long term sustainable revenue sources in order to address impacts associated with major development, including infrastructure deficits, both present and future.
Some of the ways they’re said to be looking at structuring benefit sharing agreements is by ensuring an equitable share of revenues from each industrial sector and major project, new long term and improved government grant programs, a fair share of industrial tax revenue from the tax base outside municipal boundaries, and bi-lateral agreements with major companies.
The RBA says they believe it is critical to immediately commence resource benefit sharing arrangements, giving the both the provincial government and major resource companies an opportunity to factor RBA revenue sharing considerations into public policy decisions, as a final investment decision is due in the fall of 2014 and early 2015.