For the past few years, Alcan has been cutting jobs and selling more and more of the power it generates at its Kemano facility rather than using it to manufacture aluminum at its Kitimat smelter. This is breaking the terms of the contract Alcan signed with the Province of B.C., which gave the company access to the most valuable public water resource in the province to generate electricity to smelt aluminum.
Global TV had a "paid program" Sunday morning [Sept 25, 2005] where Dagmar Midcap hosted an expose on this issue.
Kitimat, a typical corporate entity in B.C., has typical smooth ride given to it by politicians who are gratefull for the support Alcan gives them.
This power agreement was supposed to benefit the Kitimat community, not allow Alcan to close a section of their plant and sell the electricity left over. Business-wise, it gets Alcan a 900% increase in income over operating the closed section [with the employees again having their jobs to do there].
That electricity is provded FREE by way of Hydro dams, as per agreement from 1950. Alcan is just selling it to the grid as if there were no agreement and the Hydro-dams are their own!! [they are not, we B.C. taxpayers built and paid for them under that 1950's agreement]. This is straight theft.
If that "free elctricity sales" money was given to the layed-off workers insterad of going to Alcan shareholders, we might let them continue like this, but it will be best it they produce the aluminum like they agreed to.
Of course, less production means higher prices for the aluminum they do produce with the elctricity we give them for free. Alcan knows that very well, so they love shutting in operations despite the effect on the comunity and workers. If it were not for the free-electricity agreement, we might let them do it but this situation is a complete fiasco, a true gift from the Liberals to Alcan, one of the B.C. Liberal Party's best contributors financially.
PS - I have a secret love for Dagmar, the best most sexy lovely thin reporter to ever grace the airwaves. She gives the term Boob-Tube real meaning. Norwegian Woody!! [size=7]