Applications to participate in the province’s Rural Advisory Council are being accepted until Jan. 9, 2015.
The council’s mandate is to provide independent and impartial advice to government on matters related to rural development. As committed to in the report, Supporting Rural Development: Creating a Voice for Rural British Columbia, the initial focus of the council will be to provide advice on:
• Avenues to support greater rural access to capital;
• Stronger business development support for rural entrepreneurs and businesses; and
• Moving forward on the Rural Dividend.
Applicants for council membership must submit a resume and cover letter, identifying relevant business, economic development and community experience, and expressing their personal vision for supporting rural economies. To submit an application, or for further details, visit www.gov.bc.ca/RuralAdvisoryCouncil.
“We need to ensure rural British Columbians have an equitable share in the economic benefits generated from resource-based industries,” Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.
“The Rural Advisory Council offers a strong new voice for rural citizens and will help support rural prosperity and thriving rural communities across B.C.”
The council will include 10 to 18 members, representing a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and regions. Members will be appointed as individuals, not as representatives of an organization, business,
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett, who is Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development, will chair the council.
“The province recognizes the importance of rural communities. They are the lifeblood of B.C. and government is committed to fostering thriving rural communities,” says Barnett.
“Members of the Rural Advisory Council will play a key role in bringing rural concerns to the forefront and ensuring that rural British Columbians have a stronger voice.”
Noting the council’s job is to give advice to the B.C. Liberal government about rural issues, Barnett says it will be the first time rural British Columbia will have a strong voice in government.
“We’re looking for people who have a passion for rural B.C. to be successful, to bring forward concerns of rural B.C., and to look at policies from time to time that government makes to ensure that they have a “rural lens’ on them … because one size doesn’t fit all.”
She says the Rural Dividend would help local governments and they often have infrastructure upgrade needs because they’re old and not in the best of shape.
The Rural Dividend would help communities, which are service centres for a new mine, mill or other resources sector projects that don’t fall within the community’s taxation boundaries, derive a direct economic benefit from the natural resources.
Deadline for applications is Jan. 9, 2015. Council membership will be announced early in 2015.