Twenty-three B.C. mayors have asked Premier John Horgan to enshrine five pillars of action that give natural resource development a key role in B.C.’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan. (Williams Lake Tribune file photo)

Twenty-three B.C. mayors have asked Premier John Horgan to enshrine five pillars of action that give natural resource development a key role in B.C.’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan. (Williams Lake Tribune file photo)

B.C. mayors want key role for resource development in pandemic recovery

23 leaders pen letter to premier, asking for inclusion in new policy discussions

Twenty-three B.C. mayors are calling on Premier John Horgan to establish policies that give resource-based communities a key role in the province’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan.

In an open letter to Horgan Nov. 19, the mayors of both rural and urban municipalities praised previous foundation investments in natural resource development, as well as associated construction and transportation needs, and asked for inclusion in future policy discussions.

“As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, BC has undergone a tremendous economic shock,” the letter reads. “Fortunately, BC’s resource industries have been able to persevere during this period. Our mines have continued to operate, the forest sector was able to take advantage of soaring lumber prices during 2020, aquaculture continues to invest and innovate, and four major energy projects have kept British Columbia workers busy building the resource infrastructure of the future.”

READ MORE: ‘The end goal is in sight’: Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance

In September the province announced a $1.5 billion pandemic economic recovery plan, in addition to previous commitments, targeting primarily tourism, food security, climate action, technology and innovation.

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman said the group of mayors found no disagreements with the strategy, and issued the letter primarily as a show of support.

“This was just to let the premier know that we are ready and willing to engage,” Ackerman said. “Our resource industries need to be front of mind when we’re looking at creating the future of British Columbia. We’ve got businesses that need to get working. With a new cabinet coming into place we needed to send the premier our congratulations and hope that we can work on this together.”

The mayors asked Horgan to enshrine five core pillars for economic recovery into the Mandate Letters of incoming cabinet ministers.

Those pillars are: quickly enable shovel-ready projects to proceed; ensure international investors know B.C.’s industries can succeed in uncertain global investment conditions; recognize the unique advantage of globally carbon-competitive exports; put workers and communities first when delivering on campaign commitments; and ensure any new regulations affecting delivery on the first four pillars are considered carefully.

READ MORE: Alkali Resource Management recipient of 2020 Indigenous Business Award

Going forward, the mayors also offered their support on all aspects of pandemic recovery and ongoing efforts with climate change and First Nations reconciliation.

The letter was written by Ackerman and Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, and supported by:

Mayor Andy Adams, Campbell River

Mayor Bruno Tassone, Castlegar

Mayor Allen Courtoreille, Chetwynd

Mayor Lee Pratt, Cranbrook

Mayor Dale Bumstead, Dawson Creek

Mayor Michelle Staples, Duncan

Mayor Sarrah Storey, Fraser Lake

Mayor Brad Unger, Gold River

Mayor Linda McGuire, Granisle

Mayor Phil Germuth, Kitimat

Mayor Dennis Dugas, Port Hardy

Mayor Joan Atkinson, Mackenzie

Mayor Linda Brown, Merritt

Mayor Gary Foster, Northern Rockies

Mayor Brad West, Port Coquitlam

Mayor Gaby Wickstrom, Port McNeill

Mayor Lorraine Michetti, Pouce Coupe

Mayor Doug McCallum, Surrey

Mayor Rob Fraser, Taylor

Mayor Carol Leclerc, Terrace

Mayor Keith Bertrand, Tumbler Ridge

Fish FarmsforestryGovernmentmining

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
Saanich teen ‘locked inside,’ regaining speech after severe brain hemorrhage

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

North Saanich is giving local businesses a break by waving renewal fees for 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich waives business renewal fees for 2021

The municipality raised $48,000 from businesses licences in 2020

The Sooke school district has filled all spots for their French immersion and nature kinderagarten programs in 2021-2022 school year. Regular kindergarten registration is still open and available. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke school district gets surplus of nature, French immersion kindergarten applications

Not enough room for almost half of nature kindergarten applicants

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read