District of New Hazelton Councillor Ray Sturney said the Minerals North 2014 Conference was an eye opening experience.
The annual event was held in Vanderhoof last week and Sturney, along with chief administrative officer, Wendy Hunt attended.
The three-day conference included a full trade show, site visits and a line-up of industry speakers that provided key insights into the current state of the mining industry and what the future holds in the region.
Sturney learned the mining industry in the northwest is the most dynamic in the province. He said industry is growing in leaps and bounds and local governments need to keep up.
“That is going to be the challenge, how to get our fair share of what is happening in development here in the north. That hasn’t always been the case in the past.
“We have to get these mines, and the oil and gas projects to a point where the north directly gains, the revenue needs to stay in the north.”
Sturney said he most enjoyed the presentations from the Honourable Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review and the key note speaker, Jim Bottomley. Bottomley is a business advisor and he discussed how social, economic and demographic trends are shaping the future.
He is going to take some of the presentations to the rest of council at their next meeting on June 2.
Next year’s Minerals North Conference is in Mackenzie and Sturney said he plans on attending.
Smithers-Telkwa was chosen to be the host in 2016.