Dave Salmon of Hampton Lumber speaks to Fort St. James residents during a community engagement session held at the Fort St. James community centre. He spoke about the recent purchase agreement made between Conifex and Hampton on June 24. (Aman Parhar photo)

Conifex’s forest tenure has been transferred to Hampton Lumber in Fort St. James

Hampton has committed to building a sawmill and getting it operational within 36 months

The province has approved the transfer of Conifex’s forest licence to Hampton.

In an Oct. 28 news release, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said he approved the transfer as it is best in terms of public interest and released the following statement in regard to the transfer of the forest license:

“On Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, I approved the transfer of a forest licence and associated road permits from Conifex Timber Inc. to Fort St. James Forest Products, a subsidiary of Hampton Lumber Mills. After a comprehensive review of this public asset, I determined that this transfer is in the public interest and will benefit British Columbians.”

READ MORE: Hampton to buy Conifex sawmill in Fort St.James

As a condition of the transfer, Hampton has committed to building a new sawmill in Fort St. James, Donaldson added, noting the sawmill will be operational within 36 months of the closing transaction with Conifex.

“It is my expectation 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,” Donaldson said.

This approval came as a result of changes made to Bill 22, Donaldson said.

Bill 22 was introduced in 2019 at the legislative session in spring, and this bill requires forestry companies to obtain approval from the forestry minister before transferring tenure agreements to another party.

There was a lot of debate in regard to this legislation with forest companies skeptical of government involvement in tenure.

The approval of Conifex’s sale to Hampton is the first approval of tenure transfer under the recent legislative amendments due to Bill 22, Donaldson said.

Mayor Bev Playfair of Fort St. James said the news is great for the municipality.

“We had people sitting on the fence about whether they could live in this town unemployed or whether they would have to go find other employment. This news definitely helps,” she said.

Fort St. James still has needs and there are unemployed people, Playfair said, noting federal funding is needed to create job opportunities and programs. She added that the federal government also needs to extend EI for the unemployed.


Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quesnel gold pan relocation prompts rally, response from mayor

“At its current location, it doesn’t let us tell our story”

Status of C&C Wood Products focus of discussion at Quesnel city council meeting

Mayor Bob Simpson said he hopes a formal statement can be issued soon surrounding its future

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Flood watches issued for Quesnel, Horsefly Rivers

Flows rising in response to snowmelt and rainfall, continued rises expected

RCMP urge Williams Lake residents to be cautious as suspect remains on the loose

Man seen speeding on Highway 97 fled from police after colliding with RCMP vehicle

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Most Read