Official report of Debates of the Legislative Assembly (hansard)

Thursday, November 27, 2008
Afternoon Sitting
Volume 36, Number 5


Ron Cantelon M.L.A: Early this fall I was at a great celebration in Nanaimo at the Harmac mill as Nanaimo Forest Products prepared for shipment the first bales of pulp from their new mill. It was a great day, but it didn't begin so optimistically. Back in June when the union workers and the management had pooled their resources - $25,000 each - and committed their families to this project, it didn't look so bright - the future. In fact, it was quite clear at the courthouse - and I attended there - that they were well up the track as far as the ranking of the bids go.

But they were determined. You could see that in them. They weren't going to quit. They attracted the investment of Pioneer Log Homes and other investors. I was there when they went back a second time. They still didn't have it, but they attracted more investors - Levi Sampson and family, fresh blood.

That's what this province needs - new money into the project. And this time, they took it. Then it was a struggle to make it work, but they made it work.

Much has been made about this new partnership, this new model of management and union, but that's only part of the story. The other part is that they're not looking over their shoulder at some company back east that sees them, perhaps, just as a bottom line on some industry ledger. No, it's about the partnership with them and the investors. It really harkens back to the early days of our forest industry when entrepreneurship was met with energy and new products were formed.

That, I think, is the key to what I see as the new future in the forest industry. They're looking ahead; they're not looking back. They're looking to create new products and new markets.

I ask all the members of this House to wish them every success and continued success as they forge new grounds and open up new vistas, new opportunities, for the forest industry in British Columbia.