Short-term political gain for long term economic pain

Letter to the Editor from Lloyd Atkins of Vernon, BC

To the editor,

The people in Burns Lake (British Columbia) have been waiting on pins and needles to hear if the Babine Forest Products sawmill, which was destroyed by a fatal explosion and fire, would ever be rebuilt.

If the BC Liberals, the party claiming to be the guardians of free enterprise, were not floundering in the political polls, it’s doubtful a new sawmill would get built. Because of the destructive pine beetle infestation, the region does not have a viable long-term wood supply for the existing mills.

For the chance to link herself to a good news photo op about the construction of a new sawmill, Christy Clark has guaranteed a large block of tomorrow’s wood supply to Oregon-based Hampton Affiliates, the principle owner. The people of Burns Lake stand to benefit from the provincial government’s inference in the market place but workers at other area mills will eventually pay the price.

This is another example of short-term political gain for long-term economic pain.

Lloyd Atkins

Vernon, B.C.