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NEWS RELEASE · 8th July 2011
Ministry of Forests L & NRO
Premier Christy Clark today celebrated the grand reopening of the Kitwanga mill and 90 new jobs in Northwestern British Columbia.

"After more than two years of inactivity, it's great to see the Kitwanga sawmill back in business, providing much-needed jobs for families in the Northwest," said Premier Clark. "Strong, healthy communities are built by the people who live here and the reopening of this mill allows skilled workers to support their families right here in Kitwanga."

The Kitwanga lumber mill's return to production has directly generated 45 mill jobs and another 45 indirect jobs in logging, hauling, silviculture and support services and supplies.

Lumber production resumed in June 2011 after Pacific BioEnergy acquired the mill in fall 2009 from the Kitwanga Lumber Co. An estimated 80 per cent of Kitwanga's production is for domestic markets across Canada, with the other 20 per cent destined for China, Japan and Korea.

"Kitwanga is the best news that the Northwest B.C. forest sector has received in quite some time," said Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson. "The recent restart is yet another step forward on the road to recovery, and highlights government's success in opening up the Chinese market for lumber and wood-frame construction."

"The people of Kitwanga have never given up on their mill and today is a triumph for them," said Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell. "The Province looks forward to working with both Pacific BioEnergy and the people of Kitwanga to help sell their lumber to markets both here in North America and in the Asia-Pacific region."

Kitwanga mainly mills dimension lumber and square timbers from western hemlock, balsam, and some cedar. Fibre is supplied via Terrace-based company PacFor, which manages three forest licences that provide the Kitwanga sawmill with an estimated 150,000 cubic metres of allowable annual cut. Pacific BioEnergy is pursuing an agreement with the Gitanyow to supply another 100,000 cubic metres per year to the Kitwanga sawmill. Pacific BioEnergy is also exploring fibre supply opportunities with the Gitxsan.

"The re-opening of the Kitwanga mill has really been a collaborative effort on the part of our employees, contractors, suppliers, the Gitanyow, the Gitxsan and the local community," said Pacific BioEnergy vice president Brad Bennett. "With the sawmill back in operation we can focus our attention on development of a wood pellet manufacturing plant for Kitwanga. We are working to identify a site for the mill and on engineering and environmental challenges and hope to have an announcement in a matter of months, not years."

In addition to the Kitwanga sawmill, Pacific BioEnergy owns and operates a Prince George wood pellet plant, one of the largest in North America.
Thx James for emailing back...
Comment by MaggieJo on 9th July 2011
Thx James for re-directing me to the 2nd last paragraph in this posted article.

I apoligize if I'm missing somefin (Maybe I'm still suffering from that cold I had this week and might'a missed something.)

But...uh...'STILL not getting where C Clark swoops in to act like she hosts the right to act like SHE was the one who resurrected the Kitwanga sawmill (just cuz she happens to be in office at the time), where in the last paragraph you redirected me to ...the paragraph clearly states "The re-opening of the Kitwanga Mill has really been a collaborative effort on the part of our employees, contractors, suppliers, the Gitanyow, the Gitxsan and the local community."

Uh...there is NO mention of our precious Gov't noted making ANY efforts at all for the reopening of the Mill; let alone C Clarke who's hosting her new Political office who just now happens to "swoop in" during a rare successful event - just for the camera's sake.

R U kidding me???

After all our Local Contributories did WITHOUT her help???

What gr8 timing for her, heh? (You don't think she has agents working with her to get her to swoop in during her "Campaign" to act like she had some doing in this resurrection of the Mill...when in fact, she is taking FULL advantage of how hard our Communities work to stabilize our Economy without Gov't assistance while she acts like she had a "hand" in it?) Sigh... Does it ever end???

Am I missing somefin?

When you have time...could you kindly enlighten me??? I'm certainly open to discussion, cuz maybe I missed somefin' along the way, afterwhich I will duly apologize for.

Thx James for your dialogue, cuz often I am humbled enuf to stand corrected. Can you "correct" me on this one??? I'm open...and am ALWAYS up to humbly stand corrected.
I did James, twice in fact and..
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 9th July 2011
..it says nothing about the government's, let alone Christy Clark's, involvement. All we have is that "(you) are sure the government was involved". Having people that see through photo ops and who understand the reason that politicians like them so much, is a very good thing.
Really MaggieJo!!!!
Comment by James Ippel on 8th July 2011
Maybe you should take the time to read the full story on the re-opening of the mill- -especially the second to last paragraph. Just to enlighten you it starts "The re-opening of the mill has really been a collaborative effort- -." Give credit where credit is due. I am sure that the gov't did work with the parties involved in the re-opening of this mill, but fail to see Christy Clark or Pat Bell taking the full credit. In fact, Bell credits the people of Kitwanga for never giving up on their Mill.
It is unfortunate that there are those who have negative thoughts, even when people benefit.
Show and Shine?
Comment by MaggieJo on 8th July 2011
And in swoops the Premier to cut the ribbon; acting like the reopening of the Mill is all her doing.

Interesting...