Meet the Mayor
July 15, 2015
“We will be here for generations to come”. Those were the words we heard at the grand opening of Chetwynd Mechanical Pulp, a subsidiary of Paper Excellence. This is the third opening of that plant but we were assured that it is the last. It’s a promise: Paper Excellence, as Chetwynd Mechanical Pulp, is here to stay.
It was a well-appointed and professionally orchestrated celebration. Impressive. Nothing was left to chance. Washrooms with hand sanitizers were discretely positioned. The meeting room and table settings in attractive tents provided shelter from the sun (imagine needing shelter from the sun in this country!) And the food was superb – what one might expect in a fine hotel setting.
I’m making a point here.
With Chetwynd Mechanical Pulp operating at full capacity we have been given another solid industry on which to build a solid community.
And we are blessed with other solid industries: West Fraser and CANFOR have been here for years and both of them have made, or are in the process of making their industries even more secure with the now-operating cogeneration plant at West Fraser and the soon-to-be operating pellet plant at CANFOR.
Although natural gas has taken a hit in the last couple of years, it is not going anywhere very soon. Natural gas is here for the long haul like lumber, pellets, electricity, and pulp.
These are the main industries in 2015. They will continue to be the industrial supports upon which Chetwynd’s economy rests. But there are more: agriculture and ranching are major. When agriculture is strong the community cannot die; tourism will continue to contribute to our bottom line. And let’s not forget Chetwynd’s role in transportation of the commerce of the North East. All of it passes through our town and our valley.
Chetwynd is here for the long haul.
Our role as citizens is to build a solid community to complement the solid supporting industries. What will be some defining features of that community?
I can think of a few.
We’ll work with clear plans to improve the appearance of our home town; it’s already the jewel of the Peace. We need to keep on with public and private enhancements to the natural beauty of our location. We’ll create an environment that respects the aged and teaches the youth; while we harvest the bounties of nature, we’ll preserve the essential qualities of the environment in which we are blessed to live.
As people proud to live in Chetwynd, we’ll do what we can to support local business. The more we shop locally, the more competitive our merchants will become, the greater will be the selection of merchandise, and prices can be lowered.
As citizens of a stable community you have so many advantages: send your roots deep into the soil of Chetwynd; own your own home; send your kids to post-secondary training; watch your grandchildren grow up and prosper.
What more could we desire in this wide world?
Merlin Nichols, Mayor