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Insight: REIBC blog > Let’s Talk About Community Interests

Let’s Talk About Community Interests

posted on 10:23 AM, June 9, 2017
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caption: Mayor Ackerman and Councillor Christensen engaging Fort St. John residents about Site C. credit: City of Fort St. John

What do you do when an $8-billion infrastructure project comes to town? If you’re the City of Fort St. John, you promote the interests of your community above all else.

The Site C project threatened to divide community members on opposite sides of the issue. Some saw the project as potentially bringing more jobs, while others saw the risks and costs. But everyone agreed that the community’s interests should be promoted and protected, and this became the City’s route forward in its negotiations with BC Hydro.

Fort St. John launched a community engagement program—Let’s Talk Site C—to gather resident feedback for a position paper given to BC Hydro and government decision-makers. Negotiations took years, but the City stayed firm on its goal to advance community interests, and the eventual agreement with BC Hydro addressed issues such as water security, safety, boundary options, housing, and health and wellness.

The Let’s Talk Site C program won the City the IABC Canada 2013 Award of Excellence – Silver Leaf.

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Download Spring 2017

To read more, see “Finding Common Ground,” in the Spring 2017 issue of Input, page 20. Download Spring 2017

More information about the Community Measures Agreement that Fort St. John negotiated with BC Hydro

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