Take-Away from Catalyst Paper Talk on Sept 26th, 2017


Couldn’t make it the Powell River Public Library talk by Catalyst Paper on September 26th? Our own Rob Hughes was there and here are some notes he gleaned for us!

On Applying:

  • Starting Oct 10 applicants will be required to create an online profile (see www.catalystpaper.com)
  • Drop an updated resume to the gate every 3-4 months
  • Every February Powell River’s Catalyst Paper starts hiring for about 40 people for the annual Spring Shutdown that is 2 weeks long
  • Catalyst tends to hire most of the Shutdown staff into full time positions in the mill.

Skillsets Catalyst is seeking now:

  • They are really looking for transportation certifications, so focus resume on these – Air Brakes(highest priority) Class 3, HEO, etc.


  • New hires join the Labour relief pool and work full time hours until they post into an available position in a department of their choosing
  • There is “more than enough work” to keep the relief pool staff full time hours
  • Training wage is 70% of starting rate of $25.79 increasing by 10% over 2 yrs
  • Trades people start at their industry standard pay rate
  • Shifts for Administration, Stores, Lab and related support positions are Monday to Friday, from 7am-3pm and Trades and Paper-making departments work 10 TO 12 hour shifts, 2 days + 2 nights and 4 days off


  • In Powell River, Catalyst Paper produces: Wax paper, freezer paper, butcher paper, paper bags, and paper towels

Making it in Powell River


By Melany Hallam

It seems that everywhere I go these days, I’m meeting people who have either just moved to Powell River or want to move here soon. This summer, I met two such couples on the same day while I was visiting a kayaking campsite in Desolation Sound!

People want to come here because real estate is much cheaper than in places such as the Lower Mainland, and our outdoor lifestyle really can’t be beat. But there’s one problem that many potential new (and current) Powell Riverites encounter: full-time, well-paid jobs are difficult to come by.

What’s a person to do?

There are many options for seasonal and part-time employment in Powell River, but it can be a bit crazy juggling schedules for more than one part-time job. It can also be difficult to find enough work to create a stable income for yourself.

That’s where entrepreneurship comes in – creating your own business. In order to do that here, it’s important to get to know our community’s existing services and trends for the future. If you want to be successful, you’ll need think outside the box.

Let’s do a bit of brainstorming.

One trend I’ve noticed is that there is a large retiree community here. What do seniors need in order to continue living independently in Powell River? How about home and yard maintenance, shopping and meal preparation, transportation services … the list goes on. Ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • Are you interested in this type of work?
  • Is there someone you can ask for advice or for an informational interview?
  • What type of equipment you would need?
  • Can you get started inexpensively in order to test the market?
  • How would you promote this type of service?

For people new to Powell River, do you find yourself looking for products or services here but are not able to find them? Could one of these things be a possible side business for you?

Another question to ask yourself is this: can you use your current skills and work experience to do project-based contract work? You would essentially become a freelancer, and your clients wouldn’t necessarily have to be local. For example, I used to do a lot of work writing promotional materials and using desktop publishing and design software while working as a full-time employee here in Powell River. Using these skills, I started doing contract work on the side for clients in the Lower Mainland. I could (and still do) much of my work remotely via internet and phone, and I now work full-time as a freelancer.

In fact, there is a growing trend in North America towards contracting out short-term projects or piece work rather than hiring employees – what’s called the gig economy. A Feb. 2017 study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 43 percent of American workers would be self-employed independent contractors!

The reality is that the days of long-term full-time jobs experienced by our parents and grandparents are long past. A 2016 Jobvite survey found that while only 18 percent of the total workforce changes jobs every one-to three-years, 42 percent of younger workers do. Almost 20 percent of Jobvite survey participants have held a gig-type job – through piece work companies like Airbnb or Uber – and 56 percent report that this has been their main source of income.

Now may be the time for you to make it in Powell River by creating your own business and getting in on the gig economy trend. October 15 to 19 is Small Business Week, so there’ll be lots of local information out there this month. If you are interested in working for yourself, the most important advice I can give you is to do your research. Here are some places to start:

Income and Disability Assistance Rates & Earnings Exemptions Increases start Oct 1, 2017

Please be advised that beginning October 1, 2017, Income and Disability Assistance rates will increase and Earnings Exemptions will also increase. There will also be an update to the Bus Pass Program starting January 1, 2018.

In addition to a $100 increase to income and disability assistance rates that takes effect on October 1, 2017, people on income assistance will also be able to earn an additional $200 a month without any impact on their monthly payment. For those on disability assistance, the annual earnings exemption will increase by $2,400 a year. Higher earnings exemptions offer people a chance to increase their household income, remain connected to the workforce, and build valuable work experience that can lead to a good-paying job.

Income, Hardship and Disability Rate Increase

  • Effective October 1, 2017, the support rate for Income and Hardship Assistance will increase by $100 per case.
  • The support rate for Disability Assistance will increase by $100 per Persons with Disabilities (PWD) client. Therefore, two PWD clients in a family unit will receive a $200 support increase.
  • The new monthly rates will increase to $710 for an individual receiving income assistance and $1,133 for an individual receiving disability assistance.

Earning Exemption Increase – including Annual Earnings Exemption for Persons with Disabilities (PWD)

Effective October 1, 2017, earnings exemptions will increase by $200 per month for people on income assistance and by $2,400 annually for people on disability assistance.

New earnings exemptions amounts are as follows:

For people on income assistance (monthly)

  • $400 for a single person
  • $600 for a family with children
  • $700 a family with a child with a disability
  • $700 for a family unit with a person who has persistent multiple barriers to employment

For people on disability assistance (annually)

  • $12,000 for a single person
  • $14,400 for a couple where one is a person with a disability
  • $24,000 for a couple where both are persons with disabilities

Annual earnings exemptions retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017

As the annual earnings exemption for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) is for a calendar year, the increase will apply to the current year, back to Jan. 1, 2017.  Anyone who has exceeded the current exemption for this year ($9,600 for a single person) will be entitled to the higher limit.

Staff at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will be contacting those individuals by the end of November to adjust their assistance payments accordingly.

Bus Pass Program

As announced by government as part of the throne speech, “Starting January 1, 2018, government will provide people with disabilities access to the transportation supports they need, including an annual bus pass for those who want one.”


Coastal Postings: September 2017

Click above to view Interactive Chart
Accommodations 1
Agriculture/Aquaculture 2
Construction 9
Education 3
Finance 1
Food services 23
Health care 5
Information/Culture 3
Manufacturing 4
Mining/Quarrying 3
Other services non-gov’t 12
Public Administration 3
Recreation & Sports 1
Retail Trade 18
Social Assistance 2
Transportation 4
 Total # of job postings recorded by Career Link  74
 Total # of individual jobs posted 94