An open letter to Premier John Horgan

Columbia’s resource communities stepping up for pandemic recovery.

Dear Premier Horgan,

Congratulations on the strong mandate you have received from British Columbians! We look forward to working with you and your Government over the next four years to recover and build back stronger from the pandemic.

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As we've seen throughout the pandemic, BC has undergone a tremendous economic shock. Fortunately, BC's resource industries have been able to persevere during this period. Our mines have continued to operate, the forest sector was able to take advantage of soaring lumber prices during 2020, aquaculture continues to invest and innovate, and four major energy projects have kept British Columbia workers busy building the resource infrastructure of the future.

As mayors of resource-reliant communities all around B.C., both rural and urban, we appreciate the tremendous support you have shown for working people and businesses by supporting foundational investments in natural resources. Energy, forestry and mining – as well as the construction and transportation needs associated with them – are among the resource areas that benefited greatly from your leadership and we know that does not happen by accident.

Over the next four years, supporting responsible natural resource development will continue

to be one of the most crucial things that you can do as Premier. Four fifths of BC’s goods exports are resource products. In some way, every community is a resource community.

Even so, being a supporter isn’t always easy and we know that having the backing of direct resource communities like ours does help. Supporting natural resources means ensuring the right policies are in place and including us in those policy discussions.

While you bring together your new Cabinet to take on major challenges like the pandemic recovery, presenting an effective response to climate change and the important work of First Nations reconciliation, we, as the Mayors of resource-supporting communities around the province, want you to be assured that you will have our support in the work that is ahead.

British Columbia relies on its natural resource product exports as a central pillar of sustaining—and improving—the economic well-being of our 5 million residents. Through the sale of goods and services to our provincial neighbours, and to other countries throughout the world, the natural resource sector both grows and diversifies the provincial economy. Early evidence strongly supports the view that enabling resource industries to succeed will be equally central in pandemic recovery.

An Open Letter to Premier John Horgan

2 We welcome the opportunity to share with you and your colleagues our thoughts on how the voices of resource communities can be heard around the Cabinet table and in your reelected

Government's mandate.We suggest starting with these core pillars:

1. Move quickly to enable shovel-ready projects to proceed;

2. Send the right messages to international investors to ensure that BC's most resilient industries can succeed in uncertain global investment conditions;

3. Recognize in your economic planning the unique advantage of globally carboncompetitive exports from BC's resource-based industries;

4. Put workers and communities first as your government delivers on its campaign commitments;

5. Ensure that any new regulations affecting the ability to deliver on the first four pillars during the pandemic recovery period are considered carefully. In addition to embracing the principles at the heart of economic recovery plans, we also suggest that you look for ways to enshrine them into the Mandate Letters being prepared for incoming Cabinet Ministers, so that they remain as an enduring featuring of delivering your mandate.

In the meantime, we look forward to stepping up in any way we can to further advance your pandemic recovery leadership.

Yours faithfully,

Mayor Lori Ackerman, Fort St. John Mayor

Walt Cobb, Williams Lake

Also approved and supported by:

Mayor Andy Adams, Campbell River

Mayor Bruno Tassone, Castlegar

Mayor Allen Courtoreille, Chetwynd

Mayor Lee Pratt, Cranbrook

Mayor Dale Bumstead, Dawson Creek

Mayor Michelle Staples, Duncan

Mayor Sarrah Storey, Fraser Lake

Mayor Brad Unger, Gold River

Mayor Linda McGuire, Granisle

Mayor Phil Germuth, Kitimat

Mayor Dennis Dugas, Port Hardy

Mayor Joan Atkinson, Mackenzie

Mayor Linda Brown, Merritt

Mayor Gary Foster, Northern Rockies

Mayor Brad West, Port Coquitlam

Mayor Gaby Wickstrom, Port McNeill

Mayor Lorraine Michetti, Pouce Coupe

Mayor Doug McCallum, Surrey

Mayor Rob Fraser, Taylor

Mayor Carol Leclerc, Terrace

Mayor Keith Bertrand, Tumbler Ridge

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