Cullen confident Kitimat will rebound from Eurocan crisis

OTTAWA West Fraser’s announcement yesterday that it is permanently shutting down its Eurocan operation in Kitimat is undeniably devastating news but both the community and region will weather this latest economic storm, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said today.

“I’ve spoken with workers and community leaders several times since the announcement, and will continue to do so as we come to terms with this new reality and begin to make a plan for the future.”

Cullen is working with community leaders to organize an emergency strategic planning session in Kitimat the November 7 weekend.  Cullen, an economic and community development consultant before becoming Member of Parliament five years ago, will also facilitate the session.

Cullen acknowledged the depth of fear and uncertainty the January 2010 mill closure will have on families, businesses and northwest communities. “You can’t suddenly have 535 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs ripped out from under you and not be absolutely reeling.”

He said he is fiercely proud of the resilience the Northwest has shown over the last 10 years of economic slowdown.  He said he has “absolute confidence” the compassion and determination of the entire region will be out in full force again as Northwest residents come to terms with the Eurocan crisis.

Eurocan has operated in Kitimat economy for 40 years and was purchased by West Fraser in 1981.

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Media calls: Shelley Browne (250) 877-4142; nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca