City of Powell River mayor Dave Formosa is displeased that the Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat mill has been listed with a real estate company.
At the C3 (community-to-community-to-community) meeting on February 23, between the City of Powell River, Tla’amin Nation and qathet Regional District, Formosa said there are a number of parties interested in the Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat mill site.
“The commerce we would like to see is one that does not cause pollution, but continues to be a major provider of tax base for keeping the city infrastructure happening,” said Formosa. “I do know there are a number of interested parties and I’ve spoken to a number of them. The Renewable Hydrogen Canada group seems to be serious, but now, the mill has pulled a dirty on us, contrary to what they told me, and on a number of occasions. They have listed the property, which was a big shock, which upset me and my team working with green hydrogen.
“I know there are serious people that want to buy the site.”
Formosa said that when the company lists with a large realtor, they go worldwide.
“So, it’s a little worrisome,” said Formosa.
He said the Catalyst mill has been listed with Colliers. Formosa said that Catalyst does not seem to be concerned about the community, like they told the city.
“They felt they were working with the province and with this group, and green, clean hydrogen fuel is great,” said Formosa. “They were going to try and make this work, and then when they [Renewable Hydrogen Canada] made an offer to purchase, they were going back and forth, and then when they [Renewable] went to upgrade the offer, they were told not to talk to them [Catalyst], talk to Colliers, which just shocked the hell out of everybody.
“So, I’ve lost my respect for them [Catalyst]. This city has given this particular group millions of dollars in tax credits, and to be treated like this, I’m very upset.”
Formosa said he chairs a committee of mayors that work directly with Catalyst and other interested parties that want access to wood fibre. He said Catalyst has need for fibre for their three paper mills and yet “they think they can treat people like this politically and that can they go around being selfish like this.”
Graham Kissack, vice president, environment, health and safety and corporate communications for Paper Excellence made the following statement: “We have engaged Colliers to help us manage inquiries around purchasing the Catalyst Paper tis’kwat mill. There are multiple qualified buyers interested in the site and we want to handle inquiries in a professional manner through a real estate company. Just as if you were considering selling your house, we’ve hired a professional to assess the mill property. No final decision has been made about the future of the mill site at this point. We are simply using Colliers to review the site and collect information from qualified buyers.”