Prince Rupert will be hosting the annual general meeting of the North Central Local Government’s Association (NCLGA) from May 11 until May 13.
The meeting has already gathered attention because one of its sponsors is Enbridge and protests in front of the convention centre at Chances are already being promised. But Rupertites can expect much more from the meeting than just the Enbridge controversy.
Approximately 250 delegates from communities from as close as Haida Gwaii or as far away as 100 Mile House will be coming to the City to debate and vote on over 50 different resolutions with rather diverse topics.
One resolution would have the organization investigate the possibility of providing financial incentives to doctors in order to convince them to come and practice in rural communities.
Another would have them lobby the government to charge a levy on transporting freight to collect money for helping to mitigate the environmental damage it can cause.
One would have the NCLGA lobby health Canada to change the rules around medical marijuana grow-ops so that the municipalities and the local police can be notified if a growing license has been issued in their area; something that is often kept secret.
Another resolution would call for the province to reinstate positions for Sheriff escorts for prisoners, something that according to local prosecutors, Prince Rupert needs badly.
One of the biggest resolutions will be a call for the NCLGA to lobby the provincial government to prevent the planned fare increases and route cuts that BC Ferries is planning in Northern BC. This resolution is the brainchild of the members of Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District who are the mayors of representatives of the communities along the north coast and Haida Gwaii.
MLA and NDP ferry critic, Gary Coons, says that he will be attending the conference and has even invited Transport Minister Blair Lekstrom to attend, but there has been no word on whether or not he will actually come.