Fort St. John will no longer be a member of the Resource Municipalities Coalition after this year.
The city said Wednesday it will not renew its membership beyond a current agreement expiring at the end of 2023, citing “challenging budgetary pressures and a thorough review of all discretionary expenses.”
“The City of Fort St. John has been a proud member of the Resource Municipalities Coalition for many years,” Mayor Lilia Hansen said in a statement. “We appreciate the valuable work the Resource Municipalities Coalition has done in the past and the support they have provided to our community.”
The coalition was officially formed in September 2014 as the as the Northeast B.C. Resource Municipalities Coalition, in an attempt to unify municipalities in northeast B.C. as a lobbying group on common issues of concern.
Fort St. John is by far the largest member and funder of the coalition, with other municipalities including Taylor, Tumbler Ridge, Mackenzie, and the Northern Rockies among the membership.
Local chambers of commerce along with the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, the Northern BC Trucker’s Association, and the Truck Loggers Association are also associates of the coalition.
Since forming, the coalition has lobbied the province to enforce tax and labour laws on out-of-province contractors, and drafted a number of economic reports and position papers on resource development in the region. Its last report was a review of the northern B.C. rail system.
The city in a statement says it “remains committed to supporting the growth and development of the resource sector and will continue to work with various organizations and levels of government to advance the interests of our community.”
In a statement, the coalition said it was saying goodbye the city as a member “with a heavy heart.”
“The Resource Municipalities Coalition has been working on behalf of its municipal members throughout the province to champion responsible resource development as it sustains our provincial economy and improves the quality of life for all British Columbians,” a statement said.
“Our member municipalities, the District of Mackenzie, District of Tumbler Ridge, District of Taylor, the City of Fort St John, and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, have built the Resource Municipalities Coalition to work collaboratively on relevant shared concerns that impact communities throughout the province and it is with a heavy heart that we say good bye to the City of Fort St John as a member of the Resource Municipalities Coalition on December 31, 2023.”