DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Ahead of their annual general meeting, to be held in Dawson Creek this May, the North Central Local Government Association plans on taking a look at energy sources in this ‘power event of the year.’
The convention with start with a trip to look at the Site C dam, and end with a sponsored flight to the Albertan oil sands — with northern BC’s chiefs, mayors, councillors, and NGO executives taking part to ‘ask the tough questions, share best practices, and work on solutions.’
North Central Local Government Association President, Brian Frenkel says they have developed their communications strategies as community leaders, and ‘don’t just point a finger at Victoria and say ‘it’s their fault’ anymore.’
“It’s the northern way – you pull together, rather than finding someone to blame. As community leaders, we weren’t elected to complain, we were elected to lead.”
Frenkel adds that the meeting is ‘intense, often emotional’ and a ‘sleeves-rolled-up event’ where the leaders discuss a variety of topics. This can include infrastructure, the Highway of Tears, BC Ferry cuts on the coast, and the future of agriculture in the Cariboo.
Many communities are members of the NCLGA, ranging from 100 Mile House to the Yukon border, and from the Nisga’a villages to Valemount.
NCLGA Vice-President, Laurey Roodenburg says the region has never been so strategically important.
“Site C is the single biggest investment in BC’s history. TransCanada’s projects and the Northern Gateway pipeline alone are multi-billion dollar investments that have garnered international attention,” she said.
“We’ve also just witnessed one of Canada’s most important legal decisions around aboriginal title. All eyes will be on Dawson Creek this May, for sure.”
Panelists will include Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, and Frank Leonard, Chair of the Agricultural Land Commission.
The AGM runs May 4 – 7, 2016, with decision makers from three levels of government attending in the South Peace.