In a not so shocking development which most likely has taxpayers glaring at their Federal Government, West Fraser announced on July 23rd the company is investing $88 million which they received from a green transformation program into a mill in the Southern United States.
$33 million of this green transformation program came from Kitimat where West Fraser closed the local pulp mill after taking full advantage of the Black Liquor Subsidy. When our government instituted this program, I don’t think this is what they had in mind.
The amount of money which was made in Kitimat could be enough for an investor to invest in the Eurocan viability group which was estimated to be a 20-40 million dollar investment.
In fact, all of this 88 million came from Canadian Mills. This is Canadian Taxpayer money which was meant to improve the standards of Canadian Mills so they could compete with mills in the United States being transferred across the boarder.
“This new funding will help ensure that Canada has a pulp and paper sector that is both commercially and environmentally sustainable for years to come,” said Minister Lisa Raitt in June of 2009. “By making a smart investment today, we are laying the ground work for a greener, more secure future for the pulp and paper sector and the people who work in it.”
“Every dollar made available through this program will benefit forest-based communities across Canada and provide them with a brighter future,” said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.
More information on the Black Liquor Subsidy can be found by clicking here
Ironically, in the press release by West Fraser on the 23rd, Ketcham states right afterwards that West Fraser is not out of the woods yet… and hopefully they aren’t. The ball is now in the courts of the Federal Government to take West Fraser to term for ripping off the taxpayers of Canada.
Happy BC Day Everyone