Minister Bruce Ralston
Minister of Forests
Fraser – Nicola
Dear Minister Ralston,
I am writing you today to express my deep concern regarding the delays in issuing permits to Aspen Planers in my riding, and the devastating effect that not having permits issued is having on Aspen Planers employees, forestry contractors, and the community of Merritt…and potentially the communities of Savona and Lillooet in the future if permits are not immediately issued.
It is my understanding that there are 300,000 cubic meters in permits waiting to be approved and that processing is taking from six months to a year. Aspen Planers mill in Merritt was shut down in December and just recently began limited operation, however without permits they have no certainty going forward.
Aspen Planers employs 150 people and is the only mill remaining in Merritt. A permanent shut down and the loss of these jobs, as well as jobs and investment by forestry contactors, would be devastating for these families and this community. The ability of forestry workers to provide for their families is being seriously impeded by a lack of permits being issued.
I respectfully request that your Ministry and government take immediate action to provide certainty to Aspen Planers and their workers by having permits issued as soon as possible.
MLA Jackie Tegart