A citizen advocacy organization standing up for communities in rural B.C. will be making a stop in Williams Lake.

The North Matters will be holding a community engagement session on Sept. 15 to explore starting a board to run a chapter in Williams Lake.

“Our organization is non-partisan,” said founder David Johnston.

“We don’t get directly into lobbying government. We’re a policy-based organization that wants to see policies set out that are best for our communities in the North; our resource communities. That’s our singular mission is standing up for each other and bringing communities together.”

Johnston is an electrician by trade and has worked in various resource-based industries.

“I’ve kind of worked in all of the industries and I’ve seen first hand the level of care and steps that they take to protect the environment, and it’s not the organization or the company doing it,” he said.

“It’s the people who live in these communities for years and years who have been the ones influencing company’s policies on continually improving their footprint on the environment, continually pushing them for fair hiring practices. It really is the resource workers who are the ones who are stepping up and improving industry practices in our communities, so it’s time to give them a voice.”

Sunday’s community engagement takes place at the Pioneer Complex starting at 1:30 pm.

“It’s really good to see the level of engagement from folks in Williams Lake. We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and I’m really excited to come there and hopefully set something up so people can feel that they have some value when it comes to discussion on our community and how we’re going to sustain ourselves,” Johnston said.

(Editor’s Note: Listen to North Matters founder David Johnston with the author of this report in the audio file below)