Regional district directors voted Tuesday night at the RDN committee of the whole meeting in support of the newspaper industry.
The NEWS submitted a written request asking for the board’s support in postponing a new recycling plan estimated to cost the B.C. newspaper industry $10 million a year.
“If we are forced to pay millions in fees, every newspaper in the province would be impacted,” said the request issued by The NEWS publisher Peter McCully. “Some would close, others would merge and all would have to reduce coverage.”
Director Bill Veenhof, who represents Deep Bay, Bowser and Qualicum Bay, made a motion directing staff to write a letter asking Premier Christy Clark to delay the implementation of Multi-Material B.C.’s recycling plan and develop a plan that works environmentally and economically for the province.
While directors eventually agreed to carry a motion which could be ratified at the April 22 regular RDN meeting in support of the newspaper industry, skepticism was expressed by some board members.
Qualicum Beach town councillor, Dave Willie said he believes “the intent of MMBC is good but there are a few issues with a few organizations.”
Willie said he took issue with singling out a single item — newspapers — as the sole reason for “throwing out the baby with the bath water.”
“I’m a little concerned with throwing the whole thing out the door,” he said. “It’s probably 85 per cent effective.”
Willie went on to cite different recycling programs which have proved effective such as programs for tires and paint.
Deputy board chair Diane Brennan, who represents Nanaimo, said “this is simply the newspaper’s point of view, that’s all it is, there is no factual basis.”
Brennan claimed “all they (the newspapers) are saying is that they don’t want to pay their part and I don’t think it’s adequate for us to take their side.”