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

Just Posted

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Coastal GasLink receives first delivery of pipe sections

Company expects to begin welding and pipe laying in 2020

Northwest B.C. physician receives Medal of Good Citizenship Award

Dr. Peter Newbery was one of 18 people in B.C. to get provincial recognition

Northern Society for Domestic Peace remembers women killed in Montreal Massacre 30 years ago

Society will hand out 14 red roses, one for each of the victims, to women who stop by office today

Petition calls for appeal of Luke Strimbold’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says the former Burns Lake mayor’s case is under review

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read