Op/Ed

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

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With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Ed. note: this column is half of a he-said/she-said exploration of the current conflict between the RDCK and the City of Castlegar. For a glimpse of the flip side of this particular coin, check out Always Right by Rob Leggett. And don't forget to share your views and comments – your opinion is always welcome!

This conflict between the City of Castlegar and the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) over Celgar's unpaid taxes (see Zaitsoff sets deadline for city and City/RDCK at odds over Celgar tax bill, The Castlegar Source, July 27) actually had me turning to my dictionary, questioning my own understanding of the situation.

Turns out, I had the definition of extortion right, according to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English, “to obtain (money, secrets, etc.) by force or threats or intimidation.”

City leaders or playground punks?

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City leaders or playground punks?

Ed. note: this column is half of a he-said/she-said exploration of the current conflict between the RDCK and the City of Castlegar. For a glimpse of the flip side of this particular coin, check out Out of Left Field by Kyra Hoggan. And don't forget to share your views and comments – your opinion is always welcome!

Poor little City of Castlegar, first it was Celgar bullying them on the playground and now the RDCK is picking on them as well, or so the city would like us to believe. We only need to look at the history of this issue to see that the city is where they are now because city council apparently did not want to take Celgar’s requests for reduced taxation seriously. I think this issue could have been resolved three years ago, had the city been willing to communicate with Celgar, but instead they chose to ignore the requests and behaved, to my mind, like a spoiled child.

GUEST EDITORIAL: Creative solutions for rural industry

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Andrew Zwicker

To try and keep it as simple as possible over the Celgar issue, I think all parties involved would agree that both sides have legitimate cases to be made over this issue. The city needs to maintain its largest single source of revenue while at the same time helping make sure said revenue source is a healthy, functioning, citizen-employing and profiting business.

That would indicate to me that the best possible outcome lies somewhere in between the two perspectives, maybe an agreement to meet in the middle with a 25 per cent tax break rather than the full 50 per cent asked for?

Don't bite the hand that feeds you

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Rob Leggett

Ed. note: this column is half of a he-said/she-said exploration of the taxation contention between Celgar and the City of Castlegar. For a glimpse of the flip side of this particular coin, check out Out of Left Field by Kyra Hoggan. And don't forget to share your views and comments – your opinion is always welcome!

What would you do if you found that you were paying 12.1 times the amount in taxes compared to everyone else in the city? What if the city told you you had to pay $10,000 in taxes on your $232,000 home? If you are Zellstoff Celgar, you'd do the right thing and you'd fight it.

The cost of doing business

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The cost of doing business

Ed. note: this column is half of a he-said/she-said exploration of the taxation contention between Celgar and the City of Castlegar. For a glimpse of the flip side of this particular coin, check out Always Right by Rob Leggett. And don't forget to share your views and comments – your opinion is always welcome!

As everyone surely knows by now, Celgar has refused to pay its $3.6 million tax bill, and I'm not without sympathy for their position – certainly, it could be said that the city dropped the communication ball when it came to Celgar and its concerns, and the pulp industry is unquestionably under siege in the current flagging market.

Having said that, I find Celgar's action, and their arguments defending it, to be a form of economic guerrilla warfare with the city's well-being held hostage.

EDITORIAL: West Kootenay Greyhound Cuts a Bad Idea

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See video

The Greyhound Canada Transportation Corporation, a subsidiary of British rail and bus company FirstGroup, is currently applying to the BC Passenger Transportation Board to reduce east-west trips through our region from two a day to one. The British corporation (it's a sign of the times that Canadian buses are run by a British company with a famous American brand name) cites low ridership as the reason for this request.

COMMENTARY: One or Two Things Stephen Harper Never Learned in Kindergarten

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Watching TV and TV ads would, I suspect, rarely qualify as newsworthy events but this week a series of ads caught my attention and got me riled up. Every time they come on, they lead to a debate in our household. Not that I’m a big TV watcher by any stretch, but I do often watch the 6 o’clock news and if you’ve been watching TV, particularly in that time slot, you’ve probably seen the ads I`m talking about.

EDITORIAL: Election 2009: The People Have Mumbled

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At the conclusion of what was an insubstantial, ignored, and rather silly campaign by the two main parties, British Columbians awake to a new dawn...that looks pretty much like the previous 1400 or so. However, digging through a landfill crammed with discarded campaign signs (are there any Green ones in there, we wonder), we managed to unearth a couple of lessons from the somewhat underwhelming and regrettably unsurprising results of this week's provincial election.

 

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