We’re glad Pat Bell, minister of jobs, tourism and innovation, will consider Campbell River as a candidate for a pilot project to generate jobs.
The provincial government has done scant little else to prop up Campbell River’s economy. Tossing us a little scrap like this is the least the province can do after we saw a major sawmill and pulp and paper mill close down with nary a peep from the province. For some reason, Campbell River has to live and die by market forces while other communities in the province facing mill closures in the past have been propped up with millions from the provincial government.
Sure, the economy throughout the province was in a slump but it would have been nice to hear something from the provincial Liberals (and the federal Tories for that matter) when TimberWest closed its sawmill and Catalyst shut down the Elk Falls pulp mill after wrangling with its union over re-start proposals. We recognize that Victoria was busy with the Winter Olympics and all but we would have been happy to have received even lip service from the province. But alas, we’re not even entitled to that. Oh well, it’s a good thing there’s a spirit of go-it-alone-ness developing in Campbell River these days as we redefine our economy in the wake of the loss of two major employers. Maybe the province will see fit to help out by using us as a test case. We certainly are in a position to pursue alternative opportunities.
In the end, we may come out stronger than ever but in the meantime, we can only bite our cynical tongues after the minister points out that Campbell River was a logical place to start his jobs action plan tour. This is certainly a community that could use a few of the jobs the province hopes to uncover.