There is no word yet on when a Bill 22 review will take place into the transfer of a forest license that went along with the sale of C&C Wood Products in Quesnel.
Mayor Bob Simpson says he has asked the province for an expedited review given the circumstances, and the desire to get that specialty mill up and running again as quickly as possible.
He says the bill, introduced by the NDP, is designed to give communities, First Nations, and other interested parties an opportunity to comment on forest license transfers, particularly large volume transfers…
“Quesnel has a history involved in that when Canfor and West Fraser, with no public input whatsoever, including no provincial government input, transferred their licenses to each other and each of them closed a mill down, one in Quesnel and one in Houston. So to stop that kind of surprise with what is a public asset.”
Simpson says it has been used in two instances, once up in the Fort St. James area and one over in Clearwater.
He says in both cases it involved very major licenses and pretty significant implications for the community if those license transfers didn’t take community needs into account.
Simpson says the C&C situation is different…
“It is our hope because the wood is still going to be used for the exact same purpose that the license was issued for, and we need to get that license secured as quickly as possible to make sure the mill gets back up and running as quickly as possible. I’ve been talking to the provincial government and to the various representatives to try and make sure we get an expedited Bill 22 review, and to make sure that our First Nations, ourselves and the Regional District are engaged as soon as possible.”
The mill shut down back on May 29th, putting 114 employees out of work, not including the logging operation.
The BC Supreme Court approved the sale of the specialty mill late last month.