THOSE ON Kamloops Council who think the city can do without heavy industry can put another notch in their belt.
It’s unlikely the high municipal tax regime for heavy industry was the primary reason for the decision by Lafarge Canada to mothball its Kamloops plant, but you can bet your bottom dollar it factored in it to some degree.
Council has been moving in the recent past to try to bend down its tax rate for it’s heavy industrial sector, but it’s to this point it’s been painfully slow, and far too little.
Kamloops has long been deaf to that inequity. We can remember former Weyerhaeuser boss Dave McInnes constantly talking about how unfair the higher rate was, and still is, when compared with what their competitors pay in comparable communities.
There are those on council who haven’t had much, if any, sympathy for the heavy industrial sector — one has even said in the past the city can do without a pulp mill.
But now, this council has dragged its feet so long on creating a more competitive and balanced tax policy for heavy industry. There are only two of the original four who are in that category left — Domtar, and Tolko — and who knows how long they can battle both market conditions, and sky high local taxes.
But then, this is the mantra for some of the more myopic minds on this council, those who don’t think the city needs resource sector jobs, and who think the young people of Kamloops can get along just fine without them.
Listen to Jim Harrison’s editorials weekdays on Radio NL, and to the Jim Harrison Show at 9:08 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact him at email@example.com.