Victoria Report – Supporting rural communities

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart's bi-monthly column.

Rural British Columbia is the backbone of our province. Ever since the founding of British Columbia, resource development in rural areas has moved our economy forward, bringing prosperity and opportunity to all British Columbians.

Our government has always been a strong advocate for rural interests, and I am proud to know our Premier and caucus colleagues understand the importance of the incredible economic contribution our region brings to B.C. This will remain the case especially as LNG projects move forward and new mining operations come on line contributing the majority of wealth generated in our economy.

Therefore, with so much economic opportunity ahead, a comprehensive strategy is needed to ensure that rural B.C. receives a fair share of economic benefits from wealth being generated right in our region. That is why Forestry, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thompson and Parliamentary Secretary Donna Barnett announced the formation of the Rural Advisory Council has been formed to help our government shape rural development and policy.

The Council will have representation from across rural B.C., with members bringing their expertise and advice on how to create a more focused business development strategy for entrepreneurs and small businesses, developing avenues to support greater access to capital in rural regions and moving forward with the rural dividend program.

This council will be a strong collective voice for our region, and help create a focused economic development agenda for rural B.C. to be considered by government that will touch on a number of ministries and agencies of government.

I am excited to follow the progress of the Council as they move forward with their mandate including recommendations on how to make communities more vibrant and strategies to increase business development as economic progress continues. For more information on the Rural Advisory Council and Rural Development Mandate please visit ruralbc.gov.bc.ca .

Jackie Tegart, MLA

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