UPDATE – Business as usual between Alberni and Catalyst

Catalyst Paper Corp. has its business to attend to and the city of Alberni has its own.

The City of Alberni has its own business to attend to while the Catalyst Paper Corp. tackles its financial woes, Mayor John Douglas said.

Catalyst announced Thursday that is has deferred its $21 million interest payment to bond holders. The company has 30 days to make its interest payment before triggering a default on its debt.

The development was news to city councillors, who weren’t aware of it before it was announced, Douglas said.

The move also doesn’t foreshadow anything dire with its operation in the Valley, Douglas said.

“They’re an enormous corporation so it’s hard to gauge what goes on inside it,” he said. “But I’ve been given every confidence by their local people that they are going to stay.”

The move also doesn’t mean that the company won’t be able to make its industrial taxes next year, Douglas said.

The company recently lost a court battle with the three B.C. municipalities where its mills are located in an effort to slash its industrial tax rate. The company is appealing the North Cowichan ruling and a decision is pending.

“Catalyst is undertaking whatever financial arrangements they need to,” Douglas said. “They say they expect their operations to go on as usual and I expect that they will.”

The city and company are continuing talks about water and the sewage lagoon, and those talks are expected to continue, he said.

Meanwhile, Douglas doesn’t expect the development to influence the city’s upcoming five-year financial plan deliberation.

“We can’t let ourselves be held hostage by a bunch of what-if’s,” Douglas said.

The city is going to continue diversifying its economy so in the event that something does happen it is ready.

“The mill left in Campbell River and in Nanaimo Harmac went independent,” Douglas said. “The sky is still up there and those communities are still there.”

Officials from CEP Local 592 in Alberni apprised their members of the matter on Dec 13, the unions blog noted.

Union officials are meeting to discuss options, including entering into early negotiations for a renewal of their 2008 – 2012 labour agreement.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Read the initial story here.

Just Posted

Vehicle catches fire near China Creek Marina

No injuries in blaze, according to witnesses

North Island College issues brief statement on bomb threat

Threat forced college to close all campuses for one day

Premier wades into fishery closure debate

John Horgan questions the federal government’s approach

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Horse riders resurrect public riding ring near Port Alberni

Open house planned for July 22 so public can check out Beaver Creek facility

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Firefighters put out brush fire in Nanaimo

Fire broke out in the area of a new development under construction in East Wellington

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read