VICTORIA - The B.C. government welcomed today's news that Hampton Affiliates Ltd. is committed to rebuilding its Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake.
In September, the company announced that it intended to rebuild the mill subject to certain conditions being met and that a final decision would be made in December. One of the conditions was assurance of adequate timber supply.
To that end, ministry staff worked collaboratively and transparently with Hampton, the area's six First Nations, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, Village of Burns Lake and other forest licensees to identify timber supply to support a manufacturing facility.
Since September, the ministry has extended formal offers for a community forest agreement and for a non-replaceable forest licence to the six First Nations and the local governments. They have until March 31, 2013, to formally respond to the offers and submit their applications.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -
"This is positive news for everyone in Burns Lake. The decision to rebuild the mill is only possible because everyone was able to work together on the timber-supply issues."
John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes, and Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry -
"Hampton's decision provides economic certainty for the people of Burns Lake. I was with the Premier when she visited the workers and the people of Burns Lake and said the Province would support the community. So, I'm thrilled that together we have achieved this for the people of Burns Lake."
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour Pat Bell -
"The decision to rebuild the mill is good news for the economic future of Burns Lake. Until the mill is rebuilt, my ministry will continue to provide economic support to the community. Since the mill fire, we've been able to accelerate $17.4 million in investments to support job creation and community recovery."
To learn more about this government's mid-term timber supply action plan, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/pinebeetle
For audio clips of Thomson on this subject, visit:http://soundcloud.com/bcgov/sets/minister-steve-thomson-hampton
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations