Prince Rupert Calls UBCM Conference a Success

Officials with Prince Rupert say last week's Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference brought forward positive discussion on issues and projects the city is looking to tackle.

Councillor Blair Mirau says Prince Rupert felt good after leaving all of their meetings, including many that were the first face-to-face meetings with the new provincial government.

"These guys have been in power for a few months now. All of the ministers are being briefed on a lot of these files but they were very collaborative and the spirit with all of the meetings was very, very positive. We left every meeting like we have been heard. Felt like we got lot traction on items that matter to us in Prince Rupert."

One of the main meetings that took place last week was about the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance. As communities across the northwest, want to move forward with this to get their fair share from projects like forestry and mining in order to move forward on tackling their infrastructure deficits.

"We had a very productive meeting. We actually had all four northern MLAs in the meeting. Two Liberals and two NDP. We made it clear that it's a non-partisan issue and we just want what's best for the northwest which is getting a fair share to invest revenue back into our communities."

Another item discussed between the local governments was the legalization of marijuana and how they may look for communities once it gets the green light on July First of next year.

Councillor Mirau says while it's an ambitious timeline, he feels Prince Rupert will be ready to go.

"We put in a ban in advance of the federal government legalizing on July First. We have the ability to regulate land use and form and function as well. We're confident we're going to sort out all of those details when the time comes and we will be ready to go."

As for seeing results from attending the conference? Councillor Mirau expects to see if they made good traction when the provincial government tables its budget in February.