Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Even the Supreme Court of Canada can’t define this, and it leaves decisions like the one in Fort St John up in the air, wondering what the Minister will do


Yesterday, Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, released a statement regarding the transfer of a forest licence from Conifex to Fort St. James Forest Products.  In his statement Donaldson noted:




On Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, I approved the transfer of a forest licence and associated road permits from Conifex Timber Inc. to Fort St. James Forest Products, a subsidiary of Hampton Lumber Mills. After a comprehensive review of this public asset, I determined that this transfer is in the public interest and will benefit British Columbians”.

Continuing, Donaldson went on to say:

As a condition of the transfer, Hampton has committed to build a new mill in Fort St. James that will be operational within 36 months of closing the transaction with Conifex. It is my expectation that Hampton will continue to work closely with First Nations to develop business and capacity-building arrangements and hire local workers. In addition, it must meet with the United Steelworkers’ local, and continue discussions with Fort St. James Green Energy and local logging contractors”.

After reading the comments of BC NDP Forest Minister Doug Donaldson -- who has been under scrutiny for months now due to the severe economic downturn of the provinces forest industry -- I asked the Liberal’s Forest critic John Rustad what he thought of the transfer.


The commitment by Hampton to build a new mill in Fort St James is a very positive, and important, development. I’m happy to see this. I still question however, Bill 22 and the ‘public interest’ test. Even the Supreme Court of Canada can’t define this, and it leaves decisions like the one in the Fort (Ft. St. John) up in the air wondering what the Minister will do”, he indicated. 

Regarding the provincial governments Bill 22 legislation, their rationale was that prior to the Bill, government had little say when companies wanted to trade or sell tenure.

Stated Donaldson, “Now, those companies must be fully engaged with First Nations, workers and local governments before any tenure transfer would be considered. This is one sizeable step in making sure that the people who live near the forests are first in line to benefit from that resource”.

Furthermore, he indicated that, “We also ensured that the transfer was not detrimental to marketing fibre in BC”.

Still BC Liberal Forestry critic John Rustad has concerns, which are likely echoed by many through-out the province: 

The proponents, communities and First Nations are still waiting for the Minister’s decision around the Vavenby (mill closure).




He continued, “Even though this was first out of the gate, there seems to be no decision anytime soon -- being caught up in the minister’s desire for public interest to be met”. 

When Canfor announced their Vavenby mill was being closed permanently, Clearwater Mayor Merlin Blackwell told CBC News:

"This is 172 jobs that will be affected directly — and probably double that to triple that in contractors and other people — within the Clearwater, Vavenby, North Thompson valley that depend on this mill and their operation for their employment”. 

While Doug Donaldson is, as he says, ‘confident this approval will help the people of BC and support a vibrant and diverse forest sector’, men and women in communities like Vavenby, Quesnel, Chasm, Mackenzie -- and a dozen others -- wonder when they’ll again receive a paycheque ...

... or for how long they’ll continue to receive one.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

When necessary – and only when necessary – the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program can attach (garnish) wages

Alan Forseth ~~ Kamloops, BC ~~ May 15th Earlier this week (Monday May 13 th ) the BC government announced it would be establishing a new Crown agency to oversee the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP).   They indicated that on or before the end of October, the provision of family maintenance services would transition from a contracted service provider, to the newly created Crown agency. Apparently, this was to ensure that family maintenance enforcement services for vulnerable British Columbians continue uninterrupted. Seeing this story, reminded me of a woman ( we’ll call her Mary Brown ) who had email me some time b ack about this very thing, and questions she had about how maintenance enforcement was imposed and enforced. She said to me, “ I’m just curious if you can get any statistics of the homeless men and woman, that have children, that they are paying family maintenance in support of their children”.  “I am not about to sugg

Labels

Show more