On March 19, 2012 the Burns Lake Tragedy Fund officially became a society and a new board was elected at an annual general meeting, which was held at the College of New Caledonia Lakes District Campus. The temporary committee has now been disbanded.
The new board members are all local residents; president John McQueen, vice president Marvin Gerow, treasurer Jack Brown, secretary Susan Zimmer and directors Anna Bertacco, Laura Blackwell, George Deschene, Bruce Disher and Greg Kingcott.
A criteria has been set out for people to apply for money. Assistance to individuals will be based upon the following priorities; injured workers, workers on shift the night of the disaster, workers employed by Babine Forest Products, other workers and employees of subcontractors of the mill and lastly community members who have become unemployed due to the economical effects of the mill disaster.
Money is now starting to go to those in need and quite a few applications have already been received, however because of the Privacy Act at Babine Forest Products, the society is having difficulty gaining access to the names of all employees that were injured during the Jan. 20, 2012 explosion and fire as well as the names and addresses of all Babine Forest Products employees.
The society needs to confirm employment at the sawmill, as well as employees addresses, because of this employees are encouraged to sign a release form to provide the society with access to this information.
The society is also requesting that people be patient with the process. Due to the issues presented by the Privacy Act they are finding it challenging to determine the names and addressed of the injured employees.
The society is required to be diligent when handing out the money as they have a responsibility, not only to the Babine Forest Products employees, but also to the donors.
The Burns Lake Tragedy Fund Society is also still accepting donations, which can be made at any Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada [CIBC] branch in Canada.
Applications to apply for funding from the Burns Lake Tragedy Fund Society can be downloaded from the society’s website at www.burnslaketragedyfund.org or www.hamptonaffiliates.com.
Forms can also be picked up from the BVCU Lakes District branch and the Lake Babine Nation band office. Filled out forms can be handed in at the BVCU Lakes District branch and the Lake Babine Nation band office.