Sunday, January 03, 2010

MP seeks some 30 million dollars for development in Skeena - Bulkley Valley

Nathan Cullen, the NDP MP for Skeena - Bulkley Valley Valley is once again expressing his frustration at the relative ease that West Fraser Timber has had of accessing 30 million dollars in financial support from the federal government, while at the same time it closes its Eurocan pulp operations in Kitimat.

West Fraser's 30 million dollar subsidy for Eurocan comes from its 88 million dollar share of the 1 billion dollar account that the Federal Government set up as part of its black liquor credits program, which is a process that can then be used to generate energy to run operations. It's money that apparently cannot be taken back by the community, leaving West Fraser free to apply it other properties that it may have within its corporate structure.

The fact that West Fraser is collecting its share while shutting down the Kitimat operation has the MP seeking out that exact amount from the federal government to produce a development program for new industries within the area of the region affected by the closure.

The Mayors of both Kitimat and Terrace have been holding regular meetings as part of a working group seeking direction since the Eurocan announcement of late last year. Part of their mission is to find ways to provide for new industrial development and develop educational opportunities for affected workers.

It is towards that goal that Cullen is seeking to access the money he believes rightly belongs in the Kitimat-Terrace area, with Parliament to be prorogued until March however, one wonders if there would be anyone left in Ottawa to hear his request and put it into action.

The Terrace Standard outlined some of the background on Cullen's request with a report on its website.

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