Lack of remediation plan partly to blame for failed Watson Island sale, says Prince Rupert mayor

Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem laid the blame for the failed sale of Watson Island at the feet of WatCo.

While a formal response to the suit launched by the Watson Island Development Corporation (WatCo) has yet to be filed by the City of Prince Rupert, Mayor Jack Mussallem laid the blame for the failed sale at the feet of the company.

“It is unfortunate that the Watson Island Development Corporation could not complete an agreement or reach a deal for the sale of Watson Island and could not come up with a remediation plan that was approved by the provincial government,” he said during the April 14 meeting of council, noting the sale of Watson Island remained a priority for the city.

“The city is now talking with other parties interested in purchasing Watson Island to accomplish that priority.”

The city last spoke of the remediation plan in an Aug. 29, 2013 press release outlining a settlement with Sun Wave Forest Products.

“WatCo intends to repurpose the mill as a private multi-modal port using the land and docking facilities to service the coming industrial activity in the Prince Rupert region. An overall environmental remediation plan will be sought from the Province of British Columbia and the site will be remediated as the mill site is decommissioned,” read the release.

WatCo declined to comment as the matter remains before the courts.