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PNG Franchise Agreement

Background

The City is looking to enter into a franchise agreement with Pacific Northern Gas to supply natural gas to the community.

Pacific Northern Gas (PNG) has been supplying natural gas to the city since 1952. The previous agreement expired on December 8, 2018 and negotiations have continued since. In December 2019, PNG submitted an updated franchise agreement to the BC Utilities Commission for consideration, which was given conditional approval in May 2021 subject to the alternative approval process being completed and Council adopting the Franchise Bylaw.

A franchise agreement can be entered into with a utility company if elector approval is received. The bylaw is being presented for first three readings and if the readings are passed by Council, will allow the alternative approval process to commence.

Agreement Changes

  • The ability to start negotiating a new agreement two years prior to the expiration of the agreement.
  • The ability to enter into an operating agreement, subject to BCUC approval, to permit PNG to gain access to its works for an additional year.
  • Either party can terminate the agreement if any term, provision, obligation is deemed to be a material breach that has not been rectified within 60 days.
  • References to the City’s Subdivision and Servicing Bylaw have been included.
  • The requirement to place and maintain warning signs, barricades, lights or flares at or near any site being worked on in accordance with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s “Traffic Management of Work on Roadways” guidelines.
  • When a line relocation is requested, the line depth was increased from 762 mm to 800 mm under a paved roadway.
  • The utility insurance coverage (general comprehensive) and indemnification clause was removed since it is not considered to be a standard by PNG or PNG (NE). The City remains protected and indemnified under Article VI.
  • Franchise fee remains at 3%.
  • Removal of the clause that caps on the first 328,000 GJ franchise fee compensation to the municipality from gas consumed by industrial customers. (There are no industrial customers within the City’s municipal boundaries (PNG’S classification of industrial)
    that would be affected by this change.)
  • PNG’s gas sold and revenue received statement that is submitted to the City will now include a breakdown of the total volume of gas and the total revenue received for each class of customer.
  • The City will notify PNG of changes in municipal boundaries in a timely fashion.
  • Reduction in the written notice provision from five days to three days for registered mail.
  • The inclusion of email as an acceptable form of notification.
  • Inclusion of the option to hand deliver documents.

Alternative Approval Process

The City of Fort St. John intends to adopt “Pacific Northern Gas N.E. BC Ltd. Gas Franchise Bylaw No. 2529, 2021” for the purposes of entering into a Franchise Agreement with Pacific Northern Gas to supply natural gas to the community. Unless at least 10 percent of the electors in the City of Fort St. John sign an elector response form opposing the implementation of the proposal unless the municipal council holds a vote¬†by 4:30 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.

Using the Election BC’s registered voters list for the City of Fort St. John, the number of elector responses required to prevent the City from proceeding is 1,497 (registered voters 14,971).

Elector Types

Resident Elector

When signing an elector response form during an Alternative Approval Process, a resident elector must:

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • be a Canadian citizen;
  • have lived in British Columbia for at least six months;
  • have lived in City of Fort St. John for at least 30 days; and,
  • not be disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment from voting in a local election, or be otherwise disqualified by law.

Non-resident Property Elector

When signing an elector response form during an Alternative Approval Process, a non-resident property elector must:

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • be a Canadian citizen;
  • have lived in British Columbia for at least six months;
  • have owned property within the City of Fort St. John for at least 30 days; and,
  • not be disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment from voting in a local election, or be otherwise disqualified by law.

Note: Only one non-resident property elector may sign an elector response form per property, regardless of how many people own the property, and the owner must have the written consent of a majority of the other property owner(s) to sign the response form on their behalf. Property owned in whole or in part by a corporate does not qualify under the non-resident property elector provisions.

For more information on elector qualifications, view the Voter’s Guide to Local Government Elections in BC from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Elector Response Forms

Elector response forms can be found below or picked up during regular business hours from City Hall at 10631 – 100 Street. Only electors of the City of Fort St. John are eligible to sign the elector response forms. There are two types of electors – resident electors and non-resident property electors. Elector response forms will only be accepted if they are the ones provided by the City or an accurate copy of the form, and completed fully.

Single Elector Response Form

Multiple Elector Response Form