FORT ST. JOHN, B.C.— The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources announced yesterday that BC Hydro has launched a $20-million fund to support agricultural production and related economic activity in the Peace Region.
The fund has been set up to help mitigate some of the potential effects of the Site C project on agriculture in the Peace. The Ministry said that management and disbursement of the fund will be controlled by the 10 members of the regional Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund Board. The Board consists of six members who have been appointed by regional agricultural organizations or the Peace River Regional District, three members-at-large, and one member who is a Peace River Valley agricultural producer.
In February, BC Hydro invited the PRRD and Peace River agricultural organizations to identify their appointees to the board. The ten members of the Board, who were confirmed at the first board meeting in Fort St. John on May 9th, are as follows:
- Rick Kantz, BC Grain Producers Association
- Heather Fossum, Peace River Forage Association of BC
- Howard Goertz, Peace River Regional Cattlemen’s Association
- Connie Patterson, BC Breeder and Feeder Association
- Blair Hill, Peace Region Forage Seed Association
- Angela Watson, PRRD Board
- Gene Gladysz, member-at-large (one-year term)
- Travis Winnicky, member-at-large (two-year term)
- Malcolm Odermatt, member-at-large (three-year term)
- Colin Meek, Peace River Valley agricultural producer (two-year term)
The Ministry says that the composition of the board is designed to reflect the diverse range of agricultural interests and opportunities in the Peace Region, with representation from five regional agricultural organizations, the Peace River Regional District and agricultural producers. The timelines for implementing the fund will ultimately be determined by the board, which will first need time to develop the application process and criteria. Subject to those decisions, it is anticipated that funds will start to flow in 2019.
To learn more about the Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund visit: https://www.sitecproject.com/