The recently approved Rural Advisory Council for the province will bring a rural lens to government for a change, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said.
“I don’t know what the terms of reference will be yet for the council, but some of the objectives will be for the council to be a voice for all of rural B.C. with policy of government,” Barnett told people gathered at the Tourism Discovery Centre for a meet and greet with herself, MLA Coralee Oakes and Minister of the Environment Mary Polak recently.
It’s the first time in history a rural council has been developed, she added. “We will be looking at a dividend for communities and I’m not talking about rich communities, I’m talking about the real rural B.C. The backbones of forestry and mining over the years.”
In the future, trees and mining may be gone, Barnett predicted, saying there are lots of other things communities can be looking at for economic development.
“It’s going to be very exciting and a challenge I was given,” she said, adding she’s the council chairperson. “In the next year or two I think rural B.C. will have an eye and ear for the first real time in government.”
Looking around the room she said people have been around for a long time and have heard government say “one size does not fit all” but nothing has been put into practice.
“I will be looking for lots of support from rural residents. I think we’ve got an opportunity that we’ve never had before,” she commented.