NDP support future Northwest Meat Co-op plans  


Houston Today

By Rikki Schierer - Houston Today

Published: March 15, 2010 5:00 AM

Future plans for the Northwest Premium Meat Co-operative (Co-op) will have NDP support as they seek to refinance to move forward, Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson said.

Donaldson was quick to arrange a meeting with Co-op board member Harold Kerr to discuss the Co-op, which was also attended by Carole James, Leader of the Official Opposition and Lana Popham, agriculture critic.

“I was happy that that took place because it gave Carol and Lana a good briefing and are up to speed on the meat Co-op,” Donaldson said. “We’ve heard from Harold the optimism around the potential support.”

Particularly, Donaldson added, in the form of a $900,000 loan from Farm Credit Canada. However this loan has certain contingencies, one of which is the conversion of a loan from Northern Develop Initiative (NDI) Trust provided into an equity position.

“Preferred shares in the Co-op in other words,” Donaldson said. “So I’ll be actively supporting [that] and and I’ll be writing letters and phoning NDI to see if we can encourage them to do that.”

Keeping the Co-op is vitally important for the Northwest, he added.

“The Co-op facilities are very important for local livestock producers from Vanderhoof to the Queen Charlottes,” Donaldson said. “It’s about supporting a local economy and providing more choice for consumers in the area — the option to purchase locally produced and slaughtered meats in retail outlets processed by a licensed facility.”