Pulp and Paper Canada

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Catalyst Cuts Deep


April 29, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Catalyst Paper is making cuts at its two largest mills.

Catalyst Paper is making cuts at its two largest mills.

The companys Elk Falls mill in Campbell River will put 145 employees out of work, as PM1 shuts down indefinitely. The machine was curtailed last September. A total of 82 positions will be eliminated at Catalysts Crofton Mill in North Cowichan, as well.

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Catalyst cited rising input costs and relentless fibre shortages compounded by recent sawmill closures as necessitating the closures.

The Elk Falls mill has been most affected by fibre and market dynamics to date, noted Richard Garneau, president and CEO of Catayst. With the permanent closure of TimberWest and other sawmills taking curtailment, the potential to restart #1 paper machine in the foreseeable future has disappeared.

The company also faces pressures, it says, from the industry tax rate paid by its coastal mills, which it claims is significantly greater than elsewhere in North America.

We appreciate the province has reduced the school tax component of our bill which will save us about $2 million over the next two years on a total 2007 property tax bill of $32 million. However, it will take a reduction ten times greater than that to bring our BC mills in line with the municipal property taxes paid by industry elsewhere in North America, Garneau noted.


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