Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Watson Island saga once again featured in the national press

The ongoing (or is that never ending) saga of Watson Island receives another review today, this one on the pages of the Globe and Mail, as reporter Andy Hoffman continues to examine the story that seems to have no end.

In a piece posted to the Globe website on Tuesday evening, Hoffman updates us all on the latest developments in an article that has a most fascinating title: Bizarre-trans Pacific scandal plagues Prince Rupert's best hope.

The article recounts much of the recent history of the Skeena Cellulose pulp mill, tying together the frequent troubles of the past and the more recent events of the last few years.

All of which have combined to make the Watson Island story a long running tale with many twists and turns and as of yet, little in the way of resolution and perhaps with yet more surprises to come.

Hoffman highlights the money spent by the city on maintenance of the site, at times as much as $100,000 a month and makes mention of the tens of thousands of dollars more that are being spent in legal bills.

He examines the plans of the would be buyers, Watco, still in a holding pattern as the battle between the City of Prince Rupert and a Chinese businessman continues on.

Those plans for development still very much the thing of a drawing on a table, rather than an active site of busy redevelopment.

And now, just when you thought the story couldn't get any stranger, the Globe introduces the scent of scandal from China. Where a Chinese  magazine Caijing, has apparently provided some background from the Chinese end of the news spectrum.

The Globe which has gained access to some of that documentation, suggests that the Chinese government may be viewing the bizarre nature of the magazine reports with a bit of faith.

Considering that Chinese officials seem fairly dedicated in censoring news and doing so quite frequently, the fact that they have allowed the Internet report to remain available to readers in China as long as they have, speaks volumes.

All fascinating stuff, and much of it something that Prince Rupert residents, thirsty as they are for any kind of information on the topic and still paying those bills, might be inclined to want to learn more of.

The Globe story can be found here, even with a pay wall at the Globe and Mail gates, there's much in the article to make the story one worth catching up on.

Considering how much Prince Rupert residents have paid so far as this tale has gone on and on, using up one of the Globe's 10 free monthly credits on this story, would perhaps be a very wise investment for locals.

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