As Prince Rupert city council struggles to balance the budget in light of a provincially legislated tax on industry developed on federal port land, Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said he will be taking a closer look at the Port Act to see if there could be any assistance on the federal front.
“I’ve always found, not only for the Prince Rupert port, the Port Act in general creates this strange entity. It is somewhat private, somewhat public and yet at arm’s length. It gets strange when it gets to taxation and public consultation,” he said during a March 26 media call.
“I want to have a conversation with the federal minister about this to find out where this comes from, why the legislation is designed this way and if there is any way to ensure that communities that support these ports and are supported by them are getting their fair share of whatever revenue is entitled to them from a large industrial operator.”
Cullen said he was open to further discussions about the tax issue, but said it is not something that has been repeatedly brought to his attention.
“It’s only in its early days for me, I’ve only had it raised once or twice and more out of curiosity, but hearing that it is coming up at council more frequently it is probably time for me to get into the DNA of the act and understand why the law and the taxation exists the way it does,” he said.
“I’ve had it raised to me whether the port is paying its proper share.”