Contractor loses battle with West Fraser

Tahtsa Timber owner Klaus Posselt set up rail line blockade on his property March 16

A Burns Lake contractor has lost his battle with West Fraser over the use of a rail line that travels across his property just off Highway 16 in Houston.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Tahtsa Timber owner Klaus Posselt and the forestry giant were in a Vancouver courtroom after West Fraser applied for a temporary injunction to allow them to use the rail line.

The temporary injunction was granted to West Fraser.

Posselt said he was fed up with being bullied by the forestry company over issues such as logging rates, changing terms of contracts and a general lack of communication.

On March 13, he took matters into his own hands and positioned an excavator over a rail line on his property located just off Highway 16 in Houston. West Fraser does not have an easement to the rail line and had no legal right to it. Because of this, HFP was not able to ship their product out by rail.

“I’m not happy,” Posselt said after returning from the Lower Mainland earlier this week. “I had a legal right to the blockade but they wanted to maintain the status quo because [Houston Forest Products] has been using the line for 40 years.

“Had West Fraser dealt with me fairly and honourably beforehand, this would never have happened,” he said. “It was a little bit of tit for tat.

“I’m hoping they revisit their attitudes or strategies on how they deal with contractors.”

The action was the culmination of years of frustration of dealing with the company, Posselt said.

“Logging is the largest and most continuous business in our community and we’re in service to the big boys,” he said. “They say jump, and we do nothing but ask how high and when. Especially since they announced the [HFP] shutdown, they’ve been telling us how it’s going to be.

“They just run roughshod over everybody in so many ways. These guys are making huge profits and they’re in charge of a public resource.”

The rail line in question is on 65 acres of land purchased by Posselt about a year ago.

Posselt said his intention was to use the property for a new business venture and he believed the rail line would be an asset.

“I bought that property because I wanted rail access but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get it because I was told West Fraser owns it,” he said.

“When I investigated it, I discovered there’s no easement on the rail line, so it just belongs to the property owner.”

West Fraser Forest Products did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Ramona Wilson Memorial Walk: Twenty-five years, but still no closure

“What we’re standing for today is that nobody is going to sweep this under the rug, nobody.”

Muheim class repeats 2017 award for interaction with seniors

Liliana Pesce’s Grade 4-5 class honoured by BC Retired Teachers Association

Bulkley Valley U14 boys soccer squad wins zones

The Rapids will now proceed to provincial championship in Prince George July 4-5

Donaldson announces seal coating for portions of Hwy 16, Kispiox

Two sections of road in the Bulkley Valley have had their fate sealed.

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read