British Columbia

Catalyst Paper closes Campbell River mill

Catalyst Paper said Tuesday it is permanently closing its Elk Falls paper mill near Campbell River, B.C., and its paper recycling operation in Coquitlam, B.C.

Catalyst Paper said Tuesday it is permanently closing its Elk Falls paper mill near Campbell River, B.C., and its paper recycling operation in Coquitlam, B.C.

The Elk Falls mill has been idle since 2009, while the paper recycling operation was indefinitely closed in February.

About 100 Elk Falls employees were affected by the closure, while all of the paper recycling employees were laid off earlier this year.

The Elk Falls mill began operation in 1952, and at its peak, produced 784,000 tonnes of pulp, paper and kraft paper annually.

"The steep decline in commodity paper markets, coupled with uncompetitive labour and tax costs were contributing factors that could not be overcome," Catalyst president and CEO Kevin Clarke said in a statement.

Catalyst Paper has five mills in British Columbia and Arizona.

Catalyst recently lost a court battle with four of the B.C. municipalities where it has mills over what the company said were exorbitant annual municipal taxes.

Catalyst paid its taxes in three of the four municipalities June 30, the day before the tax deadline.

The company is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the B.C. court decision that it pay a $5 million tax bill to the fourth municipality, the city of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island.

now