With Catalyst Paper continuing to challenge coastal communities – including Campbell River – in court over its taxes, Powell River is intending to lower Catalyst’s taxes by paying the mill to treat the city’s sewage.
Handing over an essential service to a corporation that repeatedly threatens to close doesn’t sound like a good idea for Powell River.
Other communities, like Campbell River, could also suffer from this scheme. Powell River is applying to the federal-provincial green Innovations Fund for the $8-10 million required to connect its sewers to the mill. That would swallow up about one-fifth of all the money available in the Innovations Fund for all B. C. communities for the next three years. This fund is supposed to be used exclusively for projects that help the environment – not those designed to lower corporate taxes in one community. Funding Powell River’s sewage privatization scheme would mean the city would get away with only having to meet the industrial standard for sewage treatment which is lower than the municipal standard. Powell River’s plan also involves periodic dumping of raw sewage into the ocean.
Our local Catalyst mill is now permanently shuttered closing the book on decades of water and air pollution that the mill produced in our area. It’s time to speak out against Powell River’s sewage disposal plan which will further degrade the quality of the Georgia Strait waters we share with Powell River and other coastal communities.
Richard Hagensen, Council of Canadians,
Campbell River Chapter