One of the largest gatherings of political staff and elected officials in the province is about to happen in Prince George.
The North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) is setting up to hold its 60th annual general meeting and convention at the Prince George Civic Centre.
"Over three hundred mayors, councillors, regional directors, First Nations representatives and industry stakeholders will meet this week (in Prince George)," said Madison Mitchell, the NCLGA
communications and development officer.
The event starts Wednesday and formal meetings are held Thursday and Friday.
"From senior cabinet ministers to opposition critics; First Nations chiefs to mayors from across 70 per cent of the province; the head of B.C.'s largest economic development agency to the leader of Canada's biggest Native Friendship Center; delegates will hear about the changes, challenges and opportunities they will face in the near and distant future. Resolutions to be debated touch on rape culture, human trafficking, rail transportation safety, changes made to the Agricultural Land Reserve, and more, said Mitchell.
Established in 1955, the North Central Local Government Association is a coalition of local governments that advocate for a prosperous and sustainable North Central British Columbia. Our jurisdiction covers the northern 70 per cent of B.C.'s landmass and includes nearly 60 per cent of the province's aboriginal population.
There are seven First Nations eligible for membership in the NCLGA, due to one of the criteria being that a government have the ability to tax their residents. Mitchell said, "we extended the invitation to the seven First Nations that are eligible and we had quite a few of those take us up on the invitation, and of course the Lhedli are involved as they are the host First Nation for this year's convention."
One of the key items on the agenda will be a memorandum of understanding being signed between the NCLGA, the Northern Development Initiative Trust, and the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition on a joint initiative.
Also, separate from the convention but shared as a concurrent activity, provincial ministers Shirley Bond and Coralee Oakes, both residents of NCLGA communities (Prince George and Quesnel respectively) will make a joint announcement on behalf of the provincial government on an undisclosed followup initiative to the Canada Winter Games.
"Something else new for us this year is, we had our new strategic plan that came out in September, ratified by the members, and in the president's report (this year's NCLGA preseident is Vanderhoof town councillor Brian Frenkel) he will touch on how we move forward on the new plan and how it has been working so far," Mitchell said.
Prince George has not hosted this convention for at least seven years.