Harmac success impresses NDP

August 12, 2009

Harmac's success was the sole surprise on a recent NDP tour to meet with Island forest industry stakeholders.
New Democrat forest critic Norm Macdonald and deputy critic Bill Routley visited Nanaimo, Cowichan, Comox, Port Alberni, Campbell River and other places on the Island.
"The thing that was a surprise was the success they're having at Harmac," said Routley, the new Cowichan Valley MLA, referring to the Nanaimo mill where a consortium of forest companies, private businessmen, Harmac workers and management bought out the bankrupt company.
"The fact they're working together there is great, even though it took a bankruptcy to do it," said Routley.
But that was about the only happy surprise during the tour.
"The one thing that really hits home is how the community leaders and the entire community understand that often their futures are tied to the forests around them, yet there's no control whatsoever," said Routley, who blamed Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberal government for most of the woes in the forestry industry.
"There is no public input any longer into our forestland base and that's a huge issue for forest communities all over B.C. that have lost control and have a feeling of helplessness pretty well everywhere we went."