The Omineca Beetle Action Coalition (OBAC) was formed in 2005 to: "Work to ensure sustainable development and resiliency for the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition region”.
With financial support and a mandate from the provincial government OBAC is led by a Board of Directors representing the region’s Mayors and Regional District Chairs. OBAC is working with its member communities, First Nations, all levels of government, industry and sector representatives, academic institutions, and allied partner organizations to develop regional diversification plans that build resilient communities during and after the pine beetle epidemic. OBAC is putting forward longterm strategies that are designed to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the mountain pine beetle epidemic.
The OBAC region spans more than eighteen million hectares from Smithers to Valemount and includes two regional districts and their rural communities, twelve municipalities, and more than twenty First Nations communities. At least fifty percent of our region’s forests are pine and thirtyseven percent of the jobs in the region depend directly on forestry. Eighty percent of the mature pine forest is expected to be dead within six years as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic currently afflicting the forests of central BC.
The Integrated Regional Infrastructure strategy is the third of the twelve identified strategies to be developed and includes proposed recommendations that overlap many of the strategies and actions that can be taken by various partners and level of governments to ensure the development of infrastructure to support a diversified economy.
The purpose of this strategy is to provide broad recommendations and proposed actions to the two senior governments to address infrastructure needs for connections to and between OBAC communities. It has been developed at a regional level and provides recommendations on:
This strategy also identifies what actions local governments, First Nations, and industry leaders can take individually, collectively and in concert with senior governments to achieve this goal.
The communities of the OBAC region envision a future where infrastructure is well-planned, environmentally sound, and expands economic diversification and wealth creation and where: the region’s infrastructure fully supports the development and diversification of a wide range of industries; the region is positioned to take advantage of the pivotal Asia-Pacific gateway; and, infrastructure supports the region as a great place to live, work, learn, play and invest. In 10 years time, OBAC communities want the region to have infrastructure that:
The recommendations and actions together answer the question “who needs to do what, when and why” to achieve the objectives and vision. The over 30 actions will be the basis for action planning in the next step beyond the adoption of this strategy. The action plan will answer the question “how to do it and how much”. The following are the recommendations that have been developed:
Ensure that the region’s new and existing transportation infrastructure provides for safe, cost effective, and expeditious movement of people, goods, and services.
Establish energy and communications infrastructure elements that will attract new businesses to the region and allow existing businesses to expand.
Establish collaborative planning approaches and innovative funding mechanisms to expedite the delivery of integrated infrastructure development solutions.
There are over thirty actions proposed across these recommendations that can be taken to support sustainable growth across sectors and, enhances community safety, access to services and regional cohesion. The detailed actions, rationales, and timelines are presented under each of the recommendations in the strategy document (Section 6). The overall implementation of this strategy will require key and timely decisions by the Provincial and Federal Governments. Selected proposed actions where priority opportunities exist include:
This strategy tells us the “what, who, when and why”, the next step is to determine “how to and how much” it will take to achieve the goal. The immediate next steps include: