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Powell River mayor meets with mill executive

Catalyst committed to Powell River operation, says Dave Formosa
Paper Excellence Powell River
Paper Excellence mill in Powell River. Peak archive photo

Catalyst Paper Corporation remains invested in the Powell River operation, according to City of Powell River mayor Dave Formosa.

Speaking at the July 14 committee of the whole meeting, Formosa outlined a meeting with Patrick Corriveau, vice-president of paper and packaging with Catalyst Paper Corporation, which is wholly owned by Paper Excellence.

“It was a good meeting,” said Formosa. “The message that I received was that Mr. Corriveau was hired to run three mills, not two.

“He has no intention of closing this mill down and he is going to do whatever he can to see if they can come up with products and resources to keep Powell River going. Right now, the markets are soft.”

Formosa said the Powell River mill is not running at this time and Corriveau did not have a timeline for when it will start up.

“He asked for patience; he had only been on the job for two weeks,” said Formosa. “We did talk about some product that he was looking at. We talked about some things we had done when trying to enhance and help Powell River out when I was in China last time, and that was looking at running thermomechanical pulp on one of the machines and selling that as a product, as well as looking at their paper towel and other products.”

Formosa said the bottom line was that Corriveau is not here to close mills. He is here to make them work, added the mayor.

Corriveau also met with mill staff during his time in Powell River, said Formosa.

“We’ll just stay tuned and I have a good feeling,” he said. “I think he was sincere, but it’s going to be touch and go for Powell River. The other two Catalyst operations are running, one machine each, and we’re not.”

Formosa said he was told he’ll be hearing more in the near future.

The mayor said he also had a discussion about the mill’s tax revitalization and the vice-president was filled in on the necessary timelines.

“He also asked how much his taxes were; he didn’t know,” said Formosa. “We got him a printout of what they were and told him the day was coming soon. They have a bit of an extension and we’ll be looking forward to seeing the cheque.”