The regions included in the coalition are Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Pouce Coupe, Taylor, Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd.
Senator Richard Neufeld, who once served as the MLA for Peace River North, as well as the Mayor of Fort Nelson, is also a part of the coalition, serving as an honorary member.
Hudson’s Hope is the one district that did not sign on to the coalition; however, they’ve been extended an open invitation to join at any time.
The coalition says their mandate is to protect and enhance resource municipalities, maximize B.C. workers, good and services, cumulative resource infrastructure planning, protect the environment, collaborate and partner with First Nations, and protect and extend existing funding agreements.
The Peace River MOU, which extends into the Fair Share fund, is seen as a priority for the coalition, as the agreement with the province ends in 2020, and while the Premier says it’ll be extended into 2030, the coalition remains skeptical.
“Our coalition will work diligently to protect the current Peace River MOU agreement with the province, including the existing funding allocation formula,” Mayor Fred Jarvis said in a written statement. “The coalition will also work to protect the Infrastructure Funding Agreement between the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and the province…Our coalition will also work collaboratively with the Electoral Directors Committee to ensure the needs of rural residents are accounted for in our comprehensive regional planning process.”
The coalition’s meetings, held every month in Fort St. John, are open to the public, with the first expected to be held sometime in October.