When the proponents of the new fish processing plant in Thornhill first brought this proposal to the Kitimat – Stikine regional district board in 2007 our first thoughts were “a fish plant. Wow. Fish smell, so will the plant.”
It became clear that they had done their homework and would be building something of great value. After considerable discussion the board directed me to hold a public hearing to make by-law changes.
To take a proposed fish plant before a hall crowded with skeptics was a little bit of a challenge but it went very well. The proponents made a good presentation, and made a good impression on the crowd, so we were pleased to recommend the proposal to the main board and they agreed with us so the proposal went ahead.
Permission from the board was just the first hurdle. The transfer of title to the property got lost some place between Terrace and Prince George, finding it took some time. After that was cleared up, the intended buyers of the plants product said they had to have the fish from “a sustainable source” which the federal fisheries could not give.
So back to the drawing board. Now, years after the original application, all the fish were in a row (after some skillful negotiations) the plant is here.
It is remarkable to see an entrepreneur who is willing, anxious even, to take our regional resources, process them here and sell them to the rest of the world.
So unlike the people who steal out timber then ship it half way around the world to process it.
Or the petroleum industry who pipes our oil through our mountains to ship it some place, any place, to refine it there to please their customers, denying our skilled workers the opportunity to process it here. Congratulations, this country needs more like you.
Can I interest you in a sawmill?