Apr 14, 2010

Catalyst Paper loss in court a victory for communities

BURNABY—Justice Peter Voith dismissed Catalyst Paper’s suit against four coastal communities today. The corporation had refused to pay their assessed municipal taxes in Port Alberni, North Cowichan, Campbell River, and Powell River and had sued the municipalities, claiming that the tax rate they were being assessed was unreasonable and illegal.

“The failure of corporations to pay property taxes threatens the health, well-being and sustainability of B.C.’s communities,” says CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill. “It’s obscene that these corporations make money in a community, but don’t believe they have any obligation to that community.”

“We’re pleased that the Court will not overturn the local government’s authority,” adds O’Neill. “This decision will protect local government and communities from devastating consequences.”

“Small industrial towns throughout B.C. were created based on a social contract between industry and the community. Neither can continue without the other. We hope that similar cases before the courts reach the same conclusion.”

COPE 491