LETTER: Somass Sawmill not worth expropriation headache for Port Alberni

Writer says city council has poor history with development

Letter to the editor

To the Editor,

Re: Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products, June 22, 2021

Just thinking about Port Alberni city council’s decision to expropriate the Somass sawmill site from Western Forest Products (WFP). Took the time to look up the rules for BC municipalities and was surprised by what I found.

Yes, they can carry out the expropriation but the cost is fair market value! Add all the legal costs from an exercise that is not going to be friendly and I believe the taxpayers are in for a nasty surprise.

I think that the average person seeing the original announcement thought the city would announce the intent to expropriate and WFP would walk away. They might just do that but with a few hundred million dollars in their pocket.

It’s time council took a sober second look at what they have started and swap the rose-coloured glasses for a dose of reality. Remember the one-dollar deal for the former plywood plant site?

Chris Duncan,

Port Alberni

forestryMunicipal GovernmentPort Alberni