Friday, October 30, 2009

Welcome to Kitimat, the latest victim of Gordon Campbell`s forestry policies

Well my friends, this story is big, nobody wants to talk about it,at least the government doesn`t want to talk about it, Eurocan mill in Kitimat is caput,534 workers lose their jobs,the jobs aren`t coming back, with all the spinoff jobs in this town of 9000 people we are talking about a death blow to Kitimat...1/3 of the jobs will disappear.

I tell you, I would like to shove a BC made 2x4 with a red mitten on the end of it up Gordon Campbell`s ass....I`m being kind, this makes over 50 mills closed since Campbell took the steering wheel, while watching question period, watching Pat Bell squirm,and in a subsequent Vancouver Sun story Pat Bell gets the award for outstanding stupidity.

What might I be talking about, well....Pat Bell is using the mill closure to try and shove the enbridge pipeline through to Kitimat and LNG terminal, well....Bell states that this would be good for Kitimat....

But, except for construction the pipeline and LNG terminal when completed would provide 30 full time jobs for Kitimat! And Pat Bell goes on to say that perhaps some Chinese buyers might want to purchase the mill, Pat Bell has thrown his hands up and conceded defeat on forestry in BC.

So as Kitimat follows the same path as all the other dead towns in the hurtland, and just why is this happening, why are BC mills closing, because Campbell has let a few big players have everything,small mills can`t get fiber, but lets be clear, new mills are opening, they are opening in Russia and China. (Lets start here with Pat Bell conceding defeat in forestry)

Like I say, Pat bell is denying these workers any support,denying transitional money,retraining money, all denied to these workers, the 130 million dollar fund from Ottawa(that Campbell contributed nothing to) has been exhausted,so these workers if their smart will leave town before their EI money expires, this mill will not re-open.

I was reading opinion 250 and they know their forestry over there, here is a simple explanation as to why our mills are closing.

Eureocan closing-A blow to the entire north By Ben Meisner(thursday,october 29.2009 03.45 am

It is the most severe blow that the city of Kitimat could have ever received.

535 people will get their walking papers at the end of January,and Eureocan pulp will cease to exist in that city.

Eurocan is the second largest industrial contributor of taxes to the city,and with that payroll is a very important part of the well being of that community.

It is a blow that Kitimat will have a hard time surviving.

What caused it? Several things, first, there is an ever increasing competition for pulp and paper from third world countries who can produce the product much cheaper than we can in Canada.That will continue to be an ongoing problem in the industry and it is a problem that the three mills in Prince George face.

Eureocan was not getting sufficient chips to enable it to operate efficiently, bearing in mind that the port of Prince Rupert has been the area from which a lot of raw logs,are being exported. There are ships full of product heading out of country to be milled overseas and there is little that either Eurocan,the province or for that matter the federal government could do about it. The logs are,for the most part,being exported by first nations in the area.They are coming from private land handed over by the province in lands claims.The province has no say where these logs go.

In the past, mills operating in the Terrace area were supplying the company with chips, the only chips being received by Eurocan in recent months have been full sized raw logs. You cannot compete trying to operate in this manner.

While Terrace has been gradually poaching people and business away from Kitimat,the closing of the mill will deal a death blow to both communities.

The claim that the recession is all but over are hollow words indeed when it comes to the reality of what is happening around us. The problem is however that municipalities such as Prince George seem to be having a hard time getting their minds around what is really happening in the community.

I`m Meisner and that`s one man`s opinion.(And I personally thank you for your accurate opinion) There are some good comments after his story

Now I have done a lot of fact checking, lets talk straight goods.....The USA went through a housing boom from 2002 through 2006....BC went through a housing boom during those same years, but what happened? During a housing boom we lost 40 mills and 25000 forestry jobs,and that was before the RECESSION hit in 2008.......

So are there any among you who actually believe that forestry will make a comeback, even if the USA starts another building boom we already know that it means no Canadian jobs!

Look, as you know I am not a rocket scientist but, one thing is perfectly clear, raw log exports are up 1600% since the Campbell Liberals took over in 2001.....Giant tracts of tree farm licences/forest have been illegally converted into private lands, and.....Here is the deal on private lands whether they be first nations or the big three forestry giants, we have no say over the export of raw logs from these private lands, that`s what the big forestry companies wanted and Campbell obliged, because as you know we can restrict the export of raw logs from Crown land(Too bad no one is logging crown land).

I have some shocking numbers to show you, they come from many sources, but all the numbers are confirmed by BEN Parfitt (The best expert in the field)

Log exports,wood waste and job impacts (coastal BC only)

This next link is to Ben Partiff`s research,this guy is a BC hero, he speaks the truth, it`s a short two page story loaded with the facts,no spin just facts, he has an alarming chart,I don`t want to spoil your read but here`s a little teaser...Log exports from the 2004/2005 -3.2 million cubic meters........Log exports 2005/2006---3.8 million cubic meters.....Log exports 2006/2007---4.7 milion cubic meters.. You get the picture...Here is the link,short/to the point,and accurate...

Source: Table excepted from "wood waste on the BC coast" by Ben Parfitt ...The data base can accessed at ...

So my friends, do we need to be rocket scientists to put two and two together, every year raw log exports are up and every year we lose more mortgage paying jobs, Pat Bell has been crowing about exports to China being up,well ....If you count low grade Cants(logs that have been debarked and two sides cut) These low grade cants are sent to China where they are milled, planed, dried, three layers of value added done in China and.....It gives China a fiber supply for the rapidly expanding Chinese pulp industry.

You see folks, Russia has added export tariffs on raw logs, forestry giants are setting up mills in Russia....China because of floods,de-forestation has stopped cutting down their trees, so the Russians are getting the big picture,China has figured out the value of keeping their forest intact but out here in Bizzarro world Gordon Campbell doesn`t give a dam....In fact.....If you recall last year the Campbell GANG spent over a million dollars on a forestry roundtable.............

No they didn`t actually build any table or use any wood but....

What did this panel of Campbell appointees come up with to SAVE BC forestry.....The best and the brightest and what we got as a NEW forest policy was (BILL 9 ....Wood first)

Now before I get into bill 9 let me remind you of the other Campbell forestry schemes....:Forest for tomorrow:.....:The forest re-vitalization plan:......I have my own name for Campbell`s forestry idea`s...."The forestry devastation plan .....Forests will be gone by tomorrow"

But seriously folks, lets discuss Bill 9......It`s a whole 2 pages long, and it states in section

1 .."The purpose of this act is to facilitate a culture of wood by requiring the use of wood as the primary building material in all new provincially funded buildings in a manner consistent with the BC building code"

Section 2)" In order to promote the use of wood in provincially funded buildings,the minister MAY do the following"

That`s it folks, that is the work of the 1 million dollar forestry roundtable....That is what`s supposed to SAVE the industry....Well my friends, before I let you go let me point out a few things that aren`t in Bill 9....No where in the bill does it state that BC MILLED wood must be used,for as you know most of the lumber on BC store shelves gets milled in China or washington state...not BC.......And the bill states that the MINISTER MAY...not will, not must...A useless bill of two pages that talks about a culture of wood and the minister may recommend using wood from (somewhere) for government funded projects. (My friends,please read bill 9...please try not to laugh while your reading this fluff bill that will do nothing, it`s a short bill, it will take you 1 minute to read the whole bill,let me know what you think of bill 9 in comments) here is the link to bill 9

Our rivers have been sold, our forests have been given away, our pride, our past, our history has been shredded by Gordon Campbell, everything that he touches falls apart, forestry my friends is officially dead in BC, the jobs aren`t coming back under Campbell, the only way it will come back is by restricting raw log exports and by doing value added milling along with specialty products.....But as you know Campbell only cares about the big corporate donors to his party.

Big forestry and Gordon Campbell have built their own coffin, may they all go to hell together, and the wood for the coffin came from BC logs milled in China.

The Straight Goods
Cheers -Eyes Wide Open


Leah said...

That bill is as useless as those who created it - which actually makes it less than useless.

Gary E said...

Great piece EWO. Now if only we could wake up the masses.
I once suggested that the employees take over the mill in Mackenzie. The spin doctors went crazy over that until I pointed out what was happening at Harmac. A few days later I think it was the Tyee that did a piece on the first anniversary of the Employee Purchase.
In the case of Eurocan I note that only an employee purchase of the interior sawmills that have shut down may make a difference. Anyone purchasing these mills need a chip supply.

And just for the record I have started construction of my own home and insist that the materials I purchased including logs and lumber are Made in BC. Further wherever possible I buy Canadian. Oh and that includes my food.

Leah said...

I read about this situation at Terrace Daily Online, and though I've never lived there or had the opportunity to even visit, I felt like someone had punched me. I don't think we can imagine the devastation that some feel today, or that will take place over the next few months. My heart goes out to the people of Kitimat, perhaps they'll be able to do a Harmac/CHEK TV style of save. I sure hope they can!

What really p*ssed me off is the fact that Eurocan still gets their 30 Million of taxpayers money from the federal government...for freakin' what??! They're closing the mill, putting over 500 people out of work - and they get a 30 Million dollar reward? This politicians in this country have gone completely insane.

Grant G said...

Thanks Leah and Gary...I also buy Canadian,even if it costs more.....

What gets me is why can`t they put two and two together..More raw logs leaving and more BC mills closing,and with all the private lands,I mean all our once public lands we can`t stop it.
We need to cut raw log exports by 90%...Short term pain for long term gain,or kiss it goodbye,you know that saying..

"Only an idiot keeps doing the same thing expecting a different result"

Campbell`s forestry giveaway will prove to be fatal for small town BC....So now lets get the towns to sell their souls for 35 pipeline jobs.


Anonymous said...

"Only an idiot keeps doing the same thing expecting a different result"

Can we phone Point Grey and tell them they're missing their Village Idiot?

Anonymous said...

Campbell has committed atrocities against the citizens of British Columbia. He is selling our natural resources as fast as he can. He has destroyed all the commerce, putting thousands out of work. And then the idiot is imposing a HST, on people with no jobs. Campbell has put hundreds of hospital workers out of work, from cutting and slashing our health care. He has closed hundreds of schools, putting teachers out of work. I have lost count of how many mills have been shut down by his treachery. I have also lost count of how many jobs were lost. All of this was done to the people of BC by a known criminal, with a record. He is also a liar, a deceiver, a theif and a drunk. He belongs in prison for his crimes and I would like to understand how he still gets to be premier. If you or I would have committed the crimes he did, we would go to prison, no doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

Campbell, has caused this province to be in it's death throes. BC is becoming an empty shell, and, this is because, Campbell is selling BC's resources to the USA, mills to China, the BC Railroad. How does a province, survive Campbell, with nothing left to recover with. Campbell, is the most despicable premier, Canada has ever had.

Anonymous said...

I've returned to BC after being away for 20+ years and, as far as I can tell from things I hear in the news, BC consists of Vancouver and area. All other areas do not exist or are irrelevant.

Having grown up in Kitimat, I sure hope someone comes up with something very soon. I sure would hate to see that town die.