Call for Feds to Deliver Promised Funding
Prince George, B.C. – Mayor and Council for Prince George have voted in favour of a resolution to have the Federal Government live up to a promise made about financial support to mitigate the impact of the Mountain Pine beetle.
The resolution will be presented to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and calls for Ottawa to pay up the $800 million dollars it promised over the next 8 years.
“The government made a commitment, and we would like to have it flowing through the north somehow” said Councillor Albert Koehler.
“Up to 33% of all employment in Prince George is related to wood and wood business, which means we have to pay attention to that” says Koehler who says the reductions in the annual allowable cut have already had an impact with mill closures, and further reductions could have more negative impacts throughout the region “It will affect everybody somehow.”
The call comes as funding for Beetle Action Coalitions is about to come to an end.
The resolution reads as follows:
“Resolved: that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities immediately and publicly call on the Government of Canada to fulfill its commitment to invest $800 million in targeted mitigation programs in the region during the next eight years; and urge that such investments occur in consultation with the Province, First Nations and local governments.”
“This is an election year so I think we have an opportunity to have significant impact” said Councillor Garth Frizzell.
Back in 2006, leading into a Federal election, the Harper Conservatives promised a billion dollars over 10 years to battle the impact of the mountain pine beetle. Two installments were made….but the balance remains.
In addition to the resolution, Mayor Lynn Hall says he will write a letter on behalf of Mayor and Council to Member of Parliament Bob Zimmer.
This same resolution has been passed by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.