On one of her last stops as the MLA for the Sea to Sky-West Vancouver riding, Joan McIntyre cut the ribbon for the area’s new natural resources one-stop shop.
FrontCounterBC offers more than 130 natural resource-related permits and authorizations from a single-window service, axing the need for applicants to visit ministry after ministry, McIntyre said on Friday (Feb. 15), at the opening of a Squamish branch at the B.C. forestry office on Loggers Lane.
“I know how important it was that we weren’t operating in silos,” McIntyre said.
Resource development is a vital part of B.C.’s economy, she said. The improved access to services through FrontCounterBC will better meet the needs of individuals and industries, McIntyre said.
The idea has been a long time coming, said Dave Southam, the Squamish Forest District’s operations manager. He acknowledged the work of staff who have been collaborating before the service was put in place.
“We have a really awesome team and group here,” Southam said.
The new office is good news for projects, such as the Sea to Sky Gondola, said Trevor Dunn, one of the principals of the lift. Proponents of the cable tram that will top out on a ridge below the summit of Mount Habrich, have worked closely with forestry services to make the project a reality, he said.
“We are going to have lots of application and other needs,” he added. “We are excited that we can do it here.”
FrontCounterBC was created in 2005 with eight locations, a call centre and online applications. The province aims to launch a shift from paper to more electronic applications for natural resource authorizations later this month through www.frontcounterbc.gov.bc.ca.
Notices of Work for the mining sector will be added to the online system on Feb. 28. The system includes interactive e-forms, client help and the ability to submit applications at their convenience.