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NEWS RELEASE · 24th April 2012
BC NDP and BC Liberal
New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix's Statement Regarding Lakeland Mills Explosion

VANCOUVER – New Democrat leader Adrian Dix issued the following statement in response to the Lakeland Mills explosion:

“The thoughts and prayers of the New Democrat caucus are with the workers and their families, and the people of Prince George. The fire has taken one life, and we extend our condolences to the family who has suffered the greatest of losses today. We hope that workers who are in critical condition stabilize and recover fully.

“Our caucus also thanks the emergency teams on the ground – BC Ambulance, firefighter, doctors and staff at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia – for their tremendous response since last night. The critical role our first responders play during times of catastrophe – from restoring safety, and preventing further injury and fatality – can never be overstated, and we are very grateful that they are always there for our communities.

“The workers and Prince George community can count on our caucus for on-going support in the coming days and weeks as they determine the next steps in recovering from this tragedy.”



Office of the Premier

Premier's Statement on Prince George Mill Explosion and Fire

VANCOUVER - Premier Christy Clark made the following statement on the Lakeland Mill explosion and fire:

"Like all British Columbians, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the explosion and fire at Lakeland Mills in Prince George. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families impacted, particularly with the family of the worker who did not survive this terrible incident.

"The response within the community has been remarkable - emergency officials managed to keep the fire from spreading under extremely adverse conditions, neighbours rushed onto the scene to offer their assistance and health officials worked through the night treating the injured. Prince George is truly a steadfast, caring community.

"I want Mayor Shari Green to know that her city has the full support of our government as they persevere through this terrible time."

Justice Minister and MLA for Prince George Valemount Shirley Bond also commented on the explosion and fire,

"I along with thousands around the province am praying for the employees and their families who have been injured in this devastating fire. In the days ahead we will work together as Northerners always do to support the employees and their families in the recovery process."

Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie provided comments on the incident as well,

"I want to offer our profound thanks to the unbelievable team that responded so quickly and professionally. Their efforts were truly heroic as many community members and first responders put themselves in harm's way to get the workers to safety. Their efforts are symbolic of our community's generosity and compassion."

we do support terrorists
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 5th May 2012
We have one in our own back yard google Rio Tinto massacre.
Hi Barry
Comment by James Ippel on 1st May 2012
I disagree that that on the Northern Gateway, and the HST both sides of the spectrum agree. Even today we are hearing that there are small business' that would like to retain the HST. On the Northern Gateway, I would like to see this project shelved if we could build refineries at the source of the commodity, and also ship oil to eastern refineries to wean us off of oil from the middle east. Do any of us want to support terrorists? The Saudi gov't does, yet we buy their oil. Are you aware that Saudi Arabia is considered a 3rd world country by Canada when it comes to giving Univeristy Seats to students? An aquaintance of mine counld not get into the Radiology Department in Newfoundland because the seats were reserved for Saudis. Why? 90% of the wealth is controlled by the Royal Family (10%) so they qualify as a 3rd world country.
On the subject of log exports. Yes, the trucks are hauling logs to Prince Rupert for export, instead of to local mills. First and formost, we do not have a local facility to process the logs, and even I will suggest that we will not have one in the forseeable future. The Chinese purcased West Fraser/Skeena Sawmills, not for the mill but for the Forest Tenure. Do not expect Skeena Sawmills to ever again process raw logs. (an opinion only)
If I had the authority to do things differently, would I? Yes, unequivicably. No exports, reduce stumpage rates for the manufacturers. For every container coming into Canada, there will be full container of a Canadian product going west.
Can't live with this, keep your product at home.

In answer to . . .In answer to . . .
Comment by barryeng on 27th April 2012
James I wasn't going to get further into it, but you kind of forced me to. Yes, I am a left-winger, and I make absolutely no apologies for that. Being on the right of the political spectrum is no crime, but thinking that being so means that one is ALWAYS correct is . . .The Northern Gateway, and the HST are just two of many examples where people on both sides of the middle often agreed, and I have been more than willing to work with anyone for a common cause.

On log exports . . .The nearest sawmill to Terrace is 200 miles away, yet every logging truck in the area is taking logs somewhere else to be processed. Not long ago, I asked the owner of trucking company how long it would take to buy a new logging truck. His answer was about 18 months. I worked intimately with most of these truck drivers for 40 years, and not only have I talked to their wives, I have talked to the the drivers themselves. Most do not like what they are doing any more than I do. (I admit that it is not all of them.) If only 3 percent of allowable timber is being exported, then where is all of this wood going? Certainly not to Terrace.

Believe it or not, I don't like beaurocrats any more than you do, and you are right . . .they are the ones who run governments. However, the politicians set the policy, and the beaurocrats carry it out. If it were left (there's that dirty word again) to them completely, there would be no need for political parties on either side of the spectrum, or elections every few years.

Twenty years ago, you and I could have sat down for a political discussion, kept complete civility on both sides, agreed to disagree and both left smiling. Unfortunately, hate politics has almost stopped us from doing so now, and I blame people like Gordon Campbell and Stephen Harper for that. That's too bad.

However interesting this conversation is, it has nothing to do wirh the original article. Having worked in sawmills for most of my life, I have complete sympathy for the injured workers and their families. My heart goes out to them, politics completely aside.
where is the logic?
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 26th April 2012
James yes truckers and tree cutters are kept busy and some jobs are better than none.But wouldn't it be better to haul lumber to houston and terrace sawmills instead of shipping the unprocessed logs to China. This will keep those wives of the truckers happy and make a few more wives happy when their husbands get a job at a sawmill. And just because wood is harvestable doesn't mean it should be cut down ,it just means its mature enough to be of any use. If there is so much wood out there why are the mills up by PG and Quesnel starting to worry about fiber supply ? PS. I hate to break it to you but the Liberals are fools.
In Answer to...
Comment by James Ippel on 26th April 2012
What in hell do polices forces policing themselves have to do with the forest industry? I can only assume you mean police forces INVESTIGATING themselves. Business' do not police themselves, much as they would like to. Worksafe BC is a scourge to business, hated and despised by business. I don't blame them becasause they are a beauricratic self serving bunch of individuals who like to make themselves look good.
As for barryeng's comment-we only have to look at the source. Barry would vilify anyone who is even at the centre of the political spectrum. God help those at the right.
It is interesting to note that only about 3% of the harvestable wood in BC is being exported-this according the to Northwest Loggers Association of BC. Of course, anyone who would make this observation is immediately a supporter of the Liberal Gov't, and a complete idiot in the eyes of a left wing advocate. Barry-do you fit the picture? Why don't you ask the wifes of the working men today who haul logs to Rupert how they feel? I am sure they are happy they have the money to put food on the table, pay the mortgage, and have their children partake in some extra curricular activities which they otherwise wouldn't be able to do. Your children are grown so you no longer have to concern with these MINOR inconsitinsions in your life. Take the time to think of your Grandchildren.
What we all seem to forget is that the Premier, and the Cabinet Ministers are not the people who run Gov't. It is the Deputy Ministers, and the ILK associated with them. Sad to say, I would suggest the majority of these are Left of Centre, and will do everything possible to make anyone but an NDP gov't look bad.
James
Comment by Gary Edwards on 26th April 2012
Do you understand what is wrong with the police forces policing themselves. The same thing that is wrong with business policing itself.
Apocalypse Now-For Shame!
Comment by barryeng on 26th April 2012
To even suggest that our Liberal government might play favourites in awarding contracts . . . for shame. Our great and glorous leader and her ilk would never stoop to that level would they? Oh, right . . .
Not enough fiber supply....
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 25th April 2012
I don't have to harp on about the fact there is not enough fiber supply ,thanks to the policies of the liberal Govt. every one knows this already. We have a shortage now and one would assume if there was a remote possibility of the 2 mills being rebuilt, that they would be state of the art and be able to cut more lumber at a faster pace with less people. Unless the raw log export is severely decreased ,our forest industry will be doomed. If i were a betting man and there was a slim chance one of the mills gets rebuilt, I would put my money on Pat Bells riding.
A Question to Moe
Comment by James Ippel on 25th April 2012
What does this tradegy have to do with the elimination of good paying jobs in the local job market?
Why must one immediately blame Victoria ,(Gov't. Cocaine and Claret, Explain yourself). There is a far larger picture here. Will the Insurance Company pay for the re building of the Mill, or will the ownership choose to take a reduced payout and walk away without re-building the mill and retain Timber Tenure.
The same scenario applies to the Burns Lake tragedy. The owners of the mill may decide to take a reduced settlement from the Insurers and walk away with money and an intact Timber Licence, selling on the open market to the highest bidder. There is already controversy attached to the Burns Lake tradgey. The Gov't is suggested taking timber from other TFL's to supply the Burns Lake sawmill. This smacks of preferential treatment to a minor segment of society, and is a slippery slope. If done for Burns Lake, it must be done for other processors who are also encountering depleted sources of fibre.
Both HFP and Canfor in Houston are facing a declining source. If these mills were to shut down, it would have a far greater impact on the general populace than the shutting down of Babine Forest Products.
Where do our priorities lie?
Immediate tragedy & Raw Logs
Comment by Moe Naguib on 24th April 2012
While all our thoughts go out to the victims of this tragedy and their families, the future may hold still more hardship. Will this destructive event mean still more Raw Log exports and the permanent elimination of good paying Canadian Trade and Labour jobs? One fears the answer is probably. This happened far away from Victoria where things are still all Cocaine and Claret, some well choreographed political speeches aside.
Hope and Pray for the victims, its all we can do for now.
Sorry
Comment by James Ippel on 24th April 2012
I too am saddened to hear of another tragedy in the milling industry, and of another death.

I am somewhat disappointed that Gary is alleging that changes in legislation are the cause. Having worked in sawmills, and on the cleanup crew, it was, and is, imperative that all areas of the mill be kept free of sawdust. Sawdust produces dust that is very combustable and subject to exploding with a spark from something as little as a chain running over a sprocket.

I am by no means an expert on this, but having conversation with other former mill workers, we sort of agree that dust produced by sawdust is very combustable, and could well be a contributing factor to this tradedy.

Until the investigation is complete it is entirely wrong to start pointing fingers, and attaching blame.

Give the investigators a chance to investigate and try a reach a solution in this tragedy.
Thoughts go out to the families.
Comment by Johnny DeMedeiros Cabral on 24th April 2012
Very sad for whats happened to families and those hurt and who passed away.
Sad
Comment by Gary Edwards on 24th April 2012
Like the rest of the province I am deeply saddened by this tragedy.

I await a full investigation and want to know if there are safety issues here. If so what exactly happened. Was it a result of changes in the WCB?

More and more we are seeing workers being maimed or losing their lives and I allege it is because of the slackening of legislation to keep workers safe. We need to know and we need to know now. No parameters to any investigations. No spin. Just the plain facts.