Petition launched to recoup federal subsidy for Eurocan

Kitimat council to consider endorsement at next regular meeting

12/21/2010

Kitimat council has been asked to endorse a petition launched by the Kitimat-Terrace and District Labour Council to try to recoup a $32 million subsidy given to West Fraser under the federal "Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program."

The "Black Liquor Tax Subsidy" was created by the Harper government to improve the competitiveness of Canadian paper mills against American mills.

But just weeks after the funds were allocated to West Fraser, the company announced the permanent closure of Eurocan.

The labour council's Be Gomes says if the government can't get the money back, an endowment fund of equal size should be established to encourage economic development in the region.

"We are seeking, at this point in time, endorsement by Kitimat council to accept this petition and/or any changes to the wording because there's been a few discussions regarding some of the wording."

The petition will eventually be forwarded to Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

Kitimat council will consider the request next month.