Babine mill lifts Burns Lake

Reaction to the announcement that Hampton Affiliates will proceed with its rebuild of the Babine Forest Products mill was not all positive.

Reaction to the announcement that Hampton Affiliates will proceed with its rebuild of the Babine Forest Products mill was not all positive, according to some media coverage.

Politicians outside of the provincial Liberal government were quick to question whether or not there was enough timber to support the new mill.  Bob Simpson, MLA for Cariboo North, even claimed that the province had inflated its Quesnel timber supply numbers for the sake of creating a positive environment for the Burns Lake mill decision.

The mayor of Smithers went on the CBC to question whether the mill decision would mean less timber supply for other mills in the region, as if the Lakes timber supply should simply remain open for mills everywhere but in Burns Lake.

One national news source chose to run photos of injured workers with its same day coverage of the announcement, and two other news sources, national and provincial, chose to run stories emphasizing the hurt caused by the mill explosion.  One even suggested that workers didn’t want to return to a new mill.  I received a phone call from a family member in another part of the province who expressed surprise that the mill rebuild “wasn’t really a good thing for Burns Lake”.  That’s the picture painted by the media outside the Lakes District.

Why has there been so much effort by the media to turn this announcement into something negative?

From the day the mill rebuild was tentatively announced back in September the major mills in B.C. have been silent.  Are they speaking loudly through politicians and media in their own spheres of influence because they don’t want to be seen as protecting their profit from the destruction of a competitor’s mill in Burns Lake?

The provincial Liberals have never shifted from their stated position that, if possible, the mill should be rebuilt.  They have proposed changes to timber supply management and have banked on the idea that low-volume timber stands will be financially viable in the years to come.  Those changes will extend to other timber supply areas across B.C.

Will local politicians protest when their communities are offered new or extended community forest licenses to manage according to the interests of their own communities?

The Burns Lake decision is at the centre of a political storm as politicians ramp up for a spring election.  You can be sure that this decision for Burns Lake will hang like a heavy punching bag in the corner of boxing gym just waiting for anyone to take swings at it for the sake of scoring political points.

It is a decision for Burns Lake, made by the Liberals, Hampton Affiliates, the Village of Burns Lake, the Regional District and First Nations to support a local mill.  Will all the timber in the Lakes now go to Hampton?  Of course not; it never has.  Hampton will still have to compete with other mills just as before.  Local license holders have never been bound to sell to Hampton, and they won’t be bound to do so in the future.

The Babine Mill rebuild is a carefully thought out plan that will be good for Burns Lake, and good for forestry workers across the region with competitive mills buying logs on an open market.

 

Just Posted

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Cullen demands action on Ecstall River

Failing to penalize parties involved undermines all salmon conservation efforts, MP says

Governments, industry bid on optimism amid timber review

The possibility of reduced forestry activity in the near future is sinking… Continue reading

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read