MLA presses province over Catalyst

Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser rallied in the leg' over Catalyst's creditor protection status and what government is doing to help.

  • Mar. 8, 2012 7:00 p.m.

Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser and Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley went on the offensive in the legislature this week over Catalyst Paper and the company’s creditor protection status.

Both MLAs grilled Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, about whether the provincial government is trying to help the company.

“The government has steps they could take between doing nothing and stepping right into the situation,” Routley said. “The minister must step up and provide that leadership now.”

Fraser asked whether a fact-finder had been appointed to determine what needs to be done to protect Catalyst’s Island mills from closing.

“This is above politics,” Fraser said. “The workers and their families need solutions, and we don’t need rhetoric.”

“The solution will not be found by any one single individual or party,” Bell said, suggesting the communities look to employee-owned Harmac in Nanaimo as one way to keep the mill running.

He added that the restructuring process “is the appropriate model under which they should be operating.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com