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

Decision on Burns Lake’s workforce camp “pending very soon”: Coastal GasLink

Meetings to discuss new camp location postponed due to wildfire situation

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Northern Health set to take pulse of region’s heart health in new consultations

Fort St. James’ consultation will take place Oct. 11

No end in sight for B.C. labour shortfall: study

Retiring baby boomers causing demographic labour pool shift

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Driver’s warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Northwest B.C. high school student lands role in Monkey Beach

The novel by Haisla-author Eden Robinson is being filmed in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

Thieves escape after man claims his wife is giving birth

RCMP searching for suspects in brazen daytime break in

Rural Canada Post carriers could see 25-per-cent pay hike: spokesman

An arbitrator has released a ruling in a long-standing pay equity dispute at Canada Post

Seventh day of searching for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts are concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

BC Children’s Hospital warns of possible PayPal fraud

Recipients are asked to forward the emails to PayPal

Most Read