Mayor Linda Brown, Councillors and CAO Scott Hildebrand had an opportunity last week to meet with Premier John Horgan at UBCM and stress to him the needs of Merritt.
The meeting with the Premier was one of approximately 20 at the convention with various Ministers, Ministry Staffs, the Attorney General and a Parliamentary Secretary.
“It was obviously about current events, forestry was number one,” began Hildebrand. “We talked about timber supply, we talked about forestry in general. The Mayor led that conversation.”
On top of the headlines from forestry, the topic of diversification was also hit on with Horgan.
“With what’s happening in the forestry industry, we need to always be thinking about that,” said Hildebrand. “We talked about exit 286 with the First Nations, the cannabis industry and Sundial specifically.”
One of the key issues stressed to the Premier is the huge gaps in building costs in BC versus Alberta. Relating it back to Sundial, who has a plant in Alberta, one pod there cost them $28 million, here in BC the same pod costs them $40 million to build.
“We talked about an opportunity for a light industrial park,” added Hildebrand.
The City had been hoping to secure funding for the industrial park through the Rural Dividend Grant which has now been suspended to help fund the forestry relief dollars.
“Our request is kind of in the air right now, we don’t know what is going to happen with that,” said Brown.
Flood mitigation was also a prevalent topic during their conversation.
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