NDP leader Adrian Dix marks rebirth of Richmond firm

B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix joined executives from Richmond-based Catalyst Paper in Toronto Tuesday to sound the opening siren at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

"In a small way we were part of working to find a solution, and it was nice to be there to celebrate this success and continue to boost British Columbia," Dix told The Richmond Review.

Catalyst, a newsprint and specialty paper company whose head office is on Sea Island, returned to publicly traded status earlier this month.

Dix joined Catalyst president and CEO Kevin Clarke, board member Todd Dillabough and other company representatives to mark the occasion.

The Opposition leader's appearance was "in the spirit of communities and commerce," stated a Catalyst news release.

Catalyst's new class of common shares began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on Jan. 7. That followed a reorganization of the firm under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, through which Catalyst won "significant debt and operating cost reductions," according to the company.

"Everyone—employees, customers, suppliers and others—got behind the need to change, adapt and innovate," said Clarke in a statement. "Starting the trading day is a great way to mark the fresh start that we've collectively secured."

The Liberal government of Premier Christy Clark, who reportedly declined an invitation to Tuesday's ceremonial event, was slow to act on the Catalyst file, said Dix.

"We were concerned about the way the government handled it, and put pressure on them to change, but today's a positive day," said Dix, noting Catalyst directly employs 1,700 people and thousands of others indirectly.

Dix's appearance comes four months ahead of the next B.C. election, scheduled for May 14. His party has yet to announce a single candidate for Richmond's three ridings, including Richmond Centre, where Catalyst is headquartered.

Without naming names, Dix said the people lining up to run in Richmond are "outstanding,"

"I'm looking forward to the campaign, I think this is going to be the most impressive campaign we've ever run in Richmond."

Current Richmond Centre MLA, Liberal Rob Howard, isn't seeking re-election. So far local school trustee Grace Tsang is the only approved candidate for the Liberal nomination.

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