The economic turnaround for Port Clements is going to start this year, councillor and acting mayor Gerry johnson told the school board last week. The reason, he said, is the wood-fired co-generation plant, long-planned for the community, but which will now start by the end of August. Mr. johnson said it means a minimum of nineteen jobs. “Hopefully, some will have some children that want to go to school, he said.
Mr. Johnson said Port has paid the price for agreeing to reduced logging on the islands, and has seen its population drop from 565 eight years ago to 516 today. He also said the village has lost 42-percent of its small businesses since 1999
But he said “I am sure we are going to reverse the trend” and added that if Weyerhaeuser sells out as has been rumoured for more than a month now, not much will change. “It doesn’t matter who really takes over. I don’t see the management strategies changing.”
He also told the board that Port likely could not survive as a community without the school. The number of students at the school has dropped, to 56 today from 77 in 2000.
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