Cullen calls sale of Ridley Terminals ‘short-sighted’

Cullen calls sale of Ridley Terminals ‘short-sighted’

MP Nathan Cullen disagrees with selling the North Coast, B.C., coal terminal

The federal government is trying to sell Prince Rupert’s Ridley Terminals Inc., and MP Nathan Cullen voiced his disapproval on Aug. 14.

The Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP released a statement calling the decision “short-sighted and perilous”, much like when the terminal was originally up for sale in 2012 under Stephen Harper’s federal government.

“The Liberals, like the Conservatives before them, are single-handedly trying to sell off a federal Crown corporation that is finally consistently posting healthy profits after having millions of tax dollars poured into it,” Cullen said in the August 14 press release.

Cullen said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to sell Ridley now that its profits are increasing — by 192.5 per cent in 2017 — to cover deficit costs in the billions. He pointed to the problems with the federal government’s Phoenix payroll, and the $1-billion price tag to fix it.

READ MORE: Government plans to sell Ridley Terminals this fall

When the proposed sale was announced on Aug. 9, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said Indigenous communities will be consulted to help “advance reconciliation and to renew the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples in Canada.” He added that the sale would “maximize value for Canadians.”

But Cullen said, “Indigenous consultation is obviously required from both legal and social licence perspectives but let’s get these negotiations out in the open, in the full light of day, so that all residents understand the proposals and parameters.

“Only then can northwest residents and Canadian taxpayers make an informed decision about whether selling this public asset, so vital to our regional and national economies, is a good or a bad idea.”

READ MORE: Ridley Terminals moves ahead with expansion project

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Nathan Cullen