THE TWO front runners in next year’s provincial election say they support the province’s Shames Mountain debt forgiveness plan.
Current Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin, who is running again next May, said there was no realistic way the province could expect a debt of $429,000 owed by the Shames Mountain Ski Corporation to be paid anyway.
Instead the corporation will pay $125,000 and the province will write off the remainder of the $429,000 and more than $108,000 in interest.
The forgiveness plan now means the ski corporation can sell the Shames ski facility to My Mountain Co-op.
At the same time, the co-op has taken on the task of paying $88,000 in royalties owed the province.
In return, the province is erasing a debt of $47,000 in unpaid interest tied to the royalties.
“Actually, this is really going to be a good thing,” said Austin of the debt forgiveness plan.
“The co-op can now get on with the job of finding a sustainable model to run the mountain.”
Austin added that having a ski hill so close to Terrace will help attract and keep new residents to the area.
Also in support is Carol Leclerc, the provincial Liberal candidate next May.
“I think [My Mountain Coop] has had a big load lifted off of their shoulders and now have an opportunity to move forward without so much debt hanging over their head,” she said.
My Mountain Coop “is truly a coop; everyone knows they have a role to play, people aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and understand it will be hard work going forward but the light is looking much brighter at the end of the tunnel.”