A new Shared Prosperity Agreement, committing to collaborate on shared interests, was formally signed by the City of Prince Rupert and District of Port Edward on Jan. 31.
In a press release issued by the City of Prince Rupert the agreement is described as including “the introduction of parameters for negotiating a Shared Service Agreement, commitment to provide long-term fire service mutual aid, as well as a commitment to a continued water supply to Watson Island. However, the media release states the mutual aid agreement and water supply agreement were already signed off in May 2022.
Under the Prosperity Agreement the District of Port Edward will pay the City of Prince Rupert $110,000 per year for services and use such as the performing arts center, library, recreation centre and swimming pool, Port Edward Mayor Knut Borndal told The Northern View.
The Shared Prosperity Agreement has been a long time coming and is different from the Shared Services Agreement, he said.
“We’ve been going back and forth with the city for years on how much Port Ed. should contribute to services we share in Prince Rupert. We came to a mutually acceptable agreement on that and the prosperity part is really the good part, Bjornda said. “We agreed to work together on housing issues, the North Pacific Cannery, which is a tourist destination and other things that will move the two communities forward. We really never had that before.”
“The Prosperity Agreement covers what we’re doing in the future, like working on housing issues, transportation issues. Really, what philosophers say is working on the ‘common good.’ Prince Rupert and Port Ed are in this together, no matter what we say. So, let’s make it work,” Bjorndal said.
The Prosperity Agreement has the two communities working on shared regional interests like recreation, tourism, infrastructure renewal, highway considerations, land use planning, and attraction and retention of workers. It also commits to a jointly considered appointment to the Prince Rupert Port Authority Board of Directors, the city stated in its press release.
“This is a big step forward for our two communities. We both understand and share the same challenges of providing for isolated Northern communities. As neighbours, it’s important that we work together to better the position of the region as a whole,” Herb Pond, mayor of Prince Rupert said.