No one asks about Catalyst

Catalyst Paper Corp.'s share prices are shrinking and so may their future be in Alberni, one reader says.

To the Editor,

With Catalyst’s share price currently at seven cents and with its heavy debt load, all the municipal candidates should be thinking of what is going to happen to city coffers and to the local economy when $28 million in wages is lost,  $22 million in purchasing goes, and more than $4 million in tax revenue disappears.

That is the likely scenario within two or three years. How will city council make the necessary budget cuts?

Nobody mentioned that issue at the recent all candidates meeting. Nor the fact that with that recent 24 per cent tax increase to homeowners, city hall in effect stole money from us because Catalyst subsequently paid all its overdue and current taxes.

There was, however, hot air from the mayor and other candidates about “Uptown revitalization”. What, in fact, do they mean specifically? If we lose Zellers, the banks, and Carter’s Shoe Repair, we might as well raze that unsavory section of town.

The good news is that Western Forest Products is going to spend $200 million to revitalize its eight sawmills on the Island. What we need here is at least $25 million to modernize the Alberni Pacific Division, but that wasn’t mentioned at the meeting either.

The focus instead was on the usual tourism rubbish, beautifying the waterfront and finding an “anchor tenant”. What tenant? Where?

Richard Berg,

Port Alberni