Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has released the following statement about the purchase of Conifex Timber by Hampton Lumber:
“The completed purchase on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, of Conifex Timber's forest licence and sawmill in Fort St. James to Hampton Lumber exemplifies our government’s approach to ensure British Columbians benefit from the public resources they own.
“Under the old government’s rules, tenure, which represents rights to harvest from publicly owned forests, were swapped between companies regardless of whether that was in the public interest or not.
“Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, approved the tenure transfer under changes to the Forest Act this government passed in the spring legislative session in Bill 22.
“The approval came after Hampton committed to build a new mill in Fort St. James, to be operational within 36 months. The minister also made it clear that he expects that Hampton will continue to work closely with First Nations to develop business and capacity-building arrangements and hire local workers. In addition, it must meet with the United Steelworkers' local and continue discussions with Fort St. James Green Energy and local logging contractors.
“I'm happy with the seriousness with which Hampton approached this process and its willingness to work with First Nations, local governments and the workers in the region.
“I'm confident moving forward our focus on people, communities and First Nations will contribute to a vibrant and diverse forest sector.”