Local governments seek assistance for economic projects

Local governments in the North Thompson Valley have identified four infrastructure projects that they want the senior levels of government to focus on.

The four-item shopping list was developed during a series of community-to-community forums that involved the districts of Clearwater and Barriere, Simpcw First Nation, and directors and staff representing the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and its electoral areas in the Valley.

During a C2C forum held Oct. 14 in Chu Chua, the consensus of the participants was that a letter should be sent to federal and provincial area representatives seeking their assistance in bringing economic development opportunities to the North Thompson Valley.

Since then the chief administrative officers from the various jurisdictions involved drafted a letter to the senior levels of government.

The draft letter was reviewed at a Jan. 29 C2C in Clearwater and outlines a new economic strategy to attract future businesses based on capital infrastructure investment for the North Thompson Valley that would include:

1. Provision of three-phase power into all communities of significant size between Kamloops and Prince George, so as to encourage investment in new industrial ventures and provide looping of hydro power that would bring jobs into the North Thompson Valley;

2. Establishment of high speed broadband internet and cell phone service in all significant population centers along the Kamloops to Prince George corridor to improve the quality of life and business communications in the North Thompson Valley;

3. Undertake major improvements to Yellowhead Highway 5 between Kamloops and Tete Jaune Cache to make public transportation and commercial trucking safer and more efficient; and

4. Extension of a natural gas distribution system throughout the North Thompson Valley to provide an affordable domestic and industrial energy source that would make living more comfortable and business more efficient.

During a Feb. 24 meeting the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board of directors authorized TNRD chair Peter Milobar to sign the letter on behalf of the regional district.