By Norman Galimski, Prince Rupert Northern View, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
CityWest grew its workforce by 33 per cent, last year, and made an $800,000 distribution payment to the City of Prince Rupert, the telecoms company announced on Jan. 25.
The city’s yearly payment saw an increase of $100,000 from the year before, and $200,000 from 2019, while the increase in staff is in preparation for growth in existing and new markets along the B.C. coast, the company stated.
“Our amazing staff overcame myriad challenges last year and they worked hard to ensure 2021 was yet another successful year,” Stefan Woloszyn, CityWest CEO, said.
Last year, CityWest expanded its services along the North Coast to communities on Haida Gwaii, East to Kitwanga and Fraser Lake, south to islands in the Salish Sea such as [Cortes], Denman and Hornby Island as well as Bamfield on Vancouver Island.
“The continued expansion of CityWest into new and remote areas of northern and coastal B.C., despite the COVID pandemic, is a real testament to the strength of this local company,” Rob Buchan, Prince Rupert city manager, said. “For another year, they are continuing to support their home community through this increased dividend payment, as well as by employing local people and contributing to local causes.”
The corporation also began work on the Connected Coast project — a 3,400 kilometre subsea fibre line that will provide backhaul services to rural and remote communities down the B.C. coast, to Vancouver and around Vancouver Island. The venture is funded by the provincial and federal governments and will be operated by CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District.
Moving forward, CityWest has stated its intention to continue forging partnerships at the local level and seeking to improve Internet, TV, and phone services to underserved communities throughout the province.
Since the company’s inception in 2005, CityWest has provided $9.6 million in dividends and distribution payments to city hall. It has also paid more than $2.1 million in local taxes and levies.
Top image credit: Mayor Lee Brain accepts an $800,000 cheque from Stefan Woloszyn, CityWest CEO, outside CityWest’s office in Prince Rupert. Photo by Norman Galimski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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