Regional Trust

In many ways, Northwest BC is regionally fractured and mute in the face of the current resource gold rush. We are overwhelmed and frustrated.

What if we had a collaborative umbrella organization where all of us – government, industry, First Nations, special interest groups (recreationalists, outfitters, environmentalists, etc) and most importantly, residents – worked together to create the Northwest BC that we want? What if we had one organization that could act as our regional voice?

Although it may be difficult, it's been done elsewhere in western Canada. The Fraser Basin Council (FBC), Muskwa-Kechika Management Area (MKMA), and Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) are all types of organizations Northwest BC could use as models. By assessing and learning from these and others, we could create a made-in-northwest-BC organization that speaks for the region.

The organizations listed above have different mandates but have many similarities:

  • Originated due to a government planning process such as the Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) process conducted in BC;
  • Are supported by multiple stakeholder groups (including most levels of government, industry, special interest groups and residents);
  • Non-partisan (not biased towards any political group); and
  • Have a charter document which provides the framework for determining ongoing strategies.


The creation of such an organization for Northwest BC could provide a regional voice for the area, as CEMA does by producing recommendations and management frameworks pertaining to the cumulative impact of oil sands development in North-Eastern Alberta. Or – using the Muskwa-Kechika example – the organization could be a process in itself which produces a legislated management framework which dictates how the Northwest BC region is managed now and into the future.

  • A strong, effective regional voice;
  • Formal links between First Nations, communities, governments, businesses and organizations;
  • Ability to take advantage of, and respond to, the opportunities and challenges presented by proposed industrial developments;
  • Cost savings for communities, First Nations, project proponents, and service providers.


Time and again, provincial and federal government personnel have told our communities that government can't figure out what our regional priorities are. Many groups in Northwest BC are vying for attention and limited funding, and these competing voices create confusion and limit effective action.

Proposed large-scale development projects in BC’s Northwest are bringing huge investments to the region - up to $100 billion. These major projects will inevitably bring social, economic, business and environmental challenges - challenges that are beyond the mandate, skills and scope of any one individual, sector, or community to solve. 

Research shows that during large scale shifts, small remote communities stand to gain more by working collaboratively.

For more information

This initiative builds on the Regional Leadership Focus Group in 2011.