Friday, January 27, 2023

As January nears end, still no word on a CityWest Distribution payment back to its sole shareholder

Almost one month into 2023, City of Prince Rupert residents and 
the sole shareholders in CityWest have not heard how much the
Communication company will return to the community for this. year

With an ever expanding CityWest charting new territories by the month, the folks back home at the home territory wondering how the return on their investment fared in 2022. 

Particularly with no word, as of yet, as to the annual delivery of what is now called a distribution payment back to the sole owner of the Communication company, the City of Prince Rupert.

The annual cheque presentation has often in the past been celebrated as a Christmas event, the annual payment complete with a giant novelty cheque that highlights the amount that the communication company has returned back for the year.

Last year, that Distribution payment announcement shifted towards the end of January. 

The January 2022 presentation would turn out to be the last for former Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain, who accepted the final novelty cheque on behalf of the City, from Stefan Woloszyn,  the President of City West.

The last Annual distribution payment presentation took place in 
January of 2022

Mr. Brain is now on the other side of the presentation program, serving as a VP for Community and Stakeholder relations.  But so far, there's no indication that the annual payment presentation is set to take place.

Distribution payments are not dividends, and the CityWest cash  is part of their repayment commitment towards a previous loan from the City during the days of the first expansion and purchase of the Monarch Cable assets.

A Snapshot of some of the Distribution Payments over the last decade looks as follows:

Over the years, it has been noted that the money returned by CityWest to the City of Prince Rupert was directed towards operational budget requirements.

Prior to it being turned into a City owned company, CityTel as it was known at that time normally had delivered a dividend towards one or two million dollars back to the City each year.

We forwarded an email earlier this week to CityWest communications office seeking an update on the status of this years Distribution payment, but so far no replay has arrived.

Should we receive one, or CityWest post a photo of the cheque presentation and amount for this year to their social media stream, we'll provide an update on the financial return for the year.

More notes on CityWest can be explored through our archive page.


  1. It really is time for the City to sell off its investment in Citywest and put the proceeds towards infrastructure renewal, including by levering government matching contributions. Let Citywest survive in the marketplace without being backstopped by the City. Alternatively, privatize the company through a share offering to its most ardent and vocal supporters.

    1. Selling off a few shares is not a bad idea actually …. Now that the connected coast project has expanded them onto Van Island and into First Nations communities, could be a good way to get new money and new partners

  2. Anyone advocating that selling Citywest to pay for infrastructure is just plain foolish.

    So we get a one time infusion of cash, rebuild a bunch of stuff, but then how do we pay for its maintenance and upkeep?

    Oh right, we couldn’t even afford that afterward. Plus we would lose many high paying local union jobs.

    Here’s an easier solution: port industry needs to pay their fair share of taxes so we can actually increase our annual infrastructure renewal and maintenance programs beyond just emergency fixes.

  3. So don't renew infrastructure because maintaining it would cost money? Meanwhile the City spends money on emergency repairs?

    That's a surprising comment about how under different ownership high paying union jobs would be lost. That's not a very reassuring statement about the competitiveness and viability of the company.