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Editorial: Paper Excellence announcement about Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat curtailment a collective blow to the community

Roller coaster continues for employees and community

2020 was a bad year. Few people will argue with that statement.

The COVID-19 lockdown started in March, and never ended, resulting in cancellations of pretty much everything non-essential that takes place outside of households.

2021 showed improvements, starting with vaccine availability and the eventual loosening of restrictions. Even though a complete return to “normal” has not been achieved, at least family get-togethers, cultural and sporting events, travelling and holiday celebrations have become part of everyday life again, even if still in modified versions with mask mandates and vaccine passports necessary to keep everyone safe from coronavirus.

Still though, it was way better than 2020, for a while, right?

Then came certain weather terms, whether new or rarely used previously, which have become part of everyone’s vocabulary. Atmospheric rivers, heat domes, polar vortexes and weather bombs have wreaked havoc in 2021, cancelling ferries and travel plans, destroying crops and infrastructure, and sadly, taking lives.

Then came variants of concern, including the latest (Omicron) causing bans for travellers leaving several African countries as governments try to slow its spread while figuring out how dangerous it is compared to other variants.

Locally, the Paper Excellence-owned Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat mill has had its ups and downs, with a computer virus and weak paper market leaving employees and their family members, as well as the entire community, riding an emotional roller coaster waiting for news regarding shutdowns and temporary curtailments.

Then came the latest announcement of an indefinite curtailment, which may not come as a surprise to anyone following the ebb and flow of the mill’s past. But the shock, regardless of the time of year, will be felt as a collective blow throughout the community.

2022 can’t come fast enough.

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