District of Port Edward, B.C., terminates partnership with Sun Wave Forest Products after Chinese company fails to begin operations at Watson Island pulp mill

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. , January 16, 2008 () – The District of Port Edward took the first step towards officially ending its partnership with Sun Wave Forest Products on January 8, giving the first three readings to rescind the bylaw that enabled the agreement.

Under the partnering agreement, Sun Wave was to have commenced operations by December 31, 2007 and to continually use the land at Watson Island for operation.

Since those conditions were not met the district is terminating the agreement, which comes with some repercussions.

“The District of Port Edward takes the position that in view of Sun Wave’s failure to meet its obligation under the partnering agreement, Sun Wave is not entitled to retain the benefit of the Tax Exemption for the years 2006 and 2007…As a result of this termination, the Tax Exemption for the years 2008 and for the balance of the term of the partnering agreement will not be made available to Sun Wave,” reads the bylaw.

The taxes owed total more than $269,000, and Mayor Dave MacDonald said the mill not operating is upsetting.

“One thing that upsets me is the fact that we are in the same position that we were in years before in that we have to pay tax to other levels of government on behalf of Sun Wave, and we have argued to other levels of government that it is not right that we have to pay tax for those that don’t pay their taxes,” he said.

“It’s not fair to those who do pay their taxes on time.”

The bylaw to rescind the partnering agreement will be given fourth and final reading at an upcoming council meeting.

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