Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad (left)

FrontCounter BC opens in the Fort

A FrontCounter BC was opened locally by Steven Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and Mayor Sandra Harwood on Wednesday, August 17.

Cake and photo ops marked the opening of a new service for the Fort.

A FrontCounter BC was opened locally by Steven Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and Mayor Sandra Harwood on Wednesday, August 17.

“This helps support the overall objective of our provincial government in terms of working with the natural resource sector, creating integrated decision-making processes, improving our timelines and service to authorizations of permits to clients making good, informed decisions,” said Thomson.

Rustad gave the example of the Endako Mine’s recent expansion, which required 11 different permits they needed to apply for dealing with multiple ministries. Now they would be able to accomplish the same process through the one office.

The FrontCounter service will be available in the Fort St. James Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations building on Stones Bay Road.

Another FrontCounter was also being opened later in the day in Vanderhoof.

The service offers a single point of contact for people wanting to deal with any number of natural resource ministries and agencies and is aimed at improving natural resource-related ministry services in rural communities.

While in the past, dealing with provincial government permitting processes may have involved trips to various ministries and even trips to larger centres like Prince George, now the staff at FrontCounter BC can help with over 100 natural resource sector authorizations and permits from over 13 partner agencies.

The single point of contact hopefully allows staff to get the answers people need to navigate the different regulatory processes of the entire natural resource sector.

There are multiple FrontCounter offices across B.C., some in larger centers offering a wider range of services such as business registration and livestock registration, but the one in the Fort will be able to provide the natural resource authorizations related to things like forestry or fish and wildlife.

There will be four staff assigned to Front Counter, who will also be performing other functions, but will assist with FrontCounter services as needed.

There will be a forester, a technician and two clerical staff working for Front Counter, with a range of skills and knowledge.

“That’s the real beauty of FrontCounter is they use the existing staff,” said Lauri Deveau, who will be one of those assigned locally.

While she and the other staff will be performing duties they did before off of the side of their desks, they will now have a greater ability to draw on the expertise of the office and serve people across ministries, giving them greater leeway to provide more thorough service.

“It’s the follow-through really that’s important,” said Mark Hayter, who will also be working for FrontCounter.


Thomson said since the initiative began in 2005, client satisfaction with the service offered has been high and has produced more timely results.



Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Falcons host basketball invitational

40 student volunteers helped support 180 players, 28 games

Atom Stars host hockey tourney

Seven teams from the region clashed sticks

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

New development in missing plane near Revelstoke

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

Most Read