Recent History – 1999
Oct. 7, 1999
By Daily News Staff
A new era of co-operation between local government and the forest industry was ushered in Wednesday with the signing of a community partnership agreement between the Northern Forest Products Association (NFPA) and the City of Dawson Creek.
Mayor Blair Lekstrom, administrator Jim Noble, and NFPA president Greg Jadrzyk signed the agreement which articulates a shared vision for the forest industry, establishes common ground between industry and local government, and describe roles for both parties.
“We all know that the forest industry is crucial to our northern economy,” Lekstrom said. “But the members of the NFPA are about more than economics, they have woven themselves into the fabric of our community. Working with Greg and others from the NFPA, I have seen industry making an effort to work collaboratively to respect community values and to see the community’s perspective.”
The agreement also ratifies the two parties’ intentions to work toward a vision where an economically and environmentally sustainable forest industry supports healthy, growing communities in north central B.C.
“The forest industry is the north’s largest employer, and we take that role very seriously,” said Jadrzyk. “We don’t underestimate the effect we have on community stability, and we don’t underestimate the importance of respecting community values.”
Direct and indirect employment in the forest industry in north central B.C. is more than 80,000 jobs and industry-generated revenue to government tops $1 billion a year.
‘It takes a lot of work to establish trust between government and industry,” said Jadrzyk. “Mayor Lekstrom, his council and staff are to be congratulated for taking the time and having the interest to work with us. Together, the industry and communities have weathered some difficult times. Thankfully, forest economics are improving. As long as we continue to improve our competitive position globally, the northern forest industry can look forward to a period of continued growth.
During this period, we can take time to also work on issues of common interest like sustainable growth, predictable public policy and balance between forest activity and environmental stewardship.”
Other communities to be signing the partnership agreements include: Fort Nelson, Prince George, Fort St. John, Taylor, Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd, Stewart, Terrace, Smithers, Telkwa, New Hazelton, Houston, Burns Lake, Valemount, McBride, Mackenzie, and Fort St. James.