The Fort Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce has become the ninth member of the Northeast B.C. Resource Municipalities Coalition, the group announced Monday.
The coalition, which strives to ensure communities and businesses have a united front on issues related to sustainable development in the region, invited the chamber to its Upstream Update Forum held last November.
According to chamber spokesperson Bev Vandersteen, they were “very impressed not only with the event, but also the inclusive, proactive messages to government, industry and First Nations from the coalition itself,” she said in a press release.
“We saw first hand how dedicated the coalition is to research on the issues of utmost importance to Northeast B.C. and how the coalition is dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges and opportunities that face our region.”
She said the chamber is “confident” that, in joining the coalition, they will be part of a team that “will work together for the benefit of all our communities.”
Northern Rockies Mayor Bill Streeper said he’s pleased the chamber decided to join.
“It means our community and region now has two voices at the coalition table and twice the opportunity to represent the views of our citizens, business and industry,” he said in a written statement.
Fort Nelson is a critical community to the development of B.C.’s LNG industry, according to coalition Executive Director Colin Griffith.
“There are globally significant natural gas fields in the Fort Nelson area, and that resource will help supply the proposed LNG plants planned for B.C.’s north coast and elsewhere,” he said.
The addition of the Fort Nelson chamber to the coalition comes after numerous businesses and organizations joined late last year: the Fort St. John & District Chamber of Commerce, the Dawson Creek & District Chamber of Commerce, the Northern B.C. Truckers Association, and Energy Services B.C.
The coalition also has the City of Fort St. John, the District of Taylor and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality as members. Senator Richard Neufeld is an honorary member.
The coalition originally formed in September 2014, and also had the City of Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Pouce Coupe as members, who later left the coalition.