Much to my surprise I have been asked if I think the mill should be shut down? Apparently there is a rumour that I do not support the mill. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The mill is a key employer in Powell River. In my discussions with mill union officials, management and Provincial agencies I have learned that the shortage of fibre supply is a major threat to the mill. Even more than the asinine tariffs that Donald Trump is putting on mill products. For example, on April 16, 2018 Catalyst shut down one paper machine in Powell River 3 weeks due to fibre interruptions from the usual supplier in the Okanagan.
I am committed to work with Tla’amin Nation, the Provincial and Federal Governments, unions and local business owners to create a new sawmill in Powell River. This would help reduce the threat of fibre interruptions from other suppliers. In the past BC governments have provided significant support to keep forest-based industries in BC coastal communities. It is time that the Provincial government supports a major initiative in Powell River like a saw mill.
Below is a video of me when I was Vice President Environment and Research at Fletcher Challenge being interviewed on forest practices and pulp & paper mills by an Australian TV reporter.