Letter: Interfor responds

Editor:

Re: Wood fibre competition (Feb. 9 issue of the Grand Forks Gazette)

We are responding to the letter submitted to you by Mr. Delisle published in the Feb. 9 edition of the Gazette.

In his letter he made statements which were not accurate and we wanted your readers to have the facts.

I have personally been through the mill closures and subsequent bankruptcy that occurred when Pope & Talbot tried to operate two sawmills in the Boundary. This was an extremely difficult time for employees, contractors, suppliers and the communities. Interfor does not have a problem competing for log supply and it only reacted when it heard, on many occasions, that the initiative in Midway was in no way in competition with Interfor and that it could be complimentary; this was simply not true.

There will be competition for timber if Boundary Sawmill re-opens. We will do everything possible to secure all the logs necessary to support our Grand Forks operation, one that creates jobs for our employees and our community.

The initiative proposed by Boundary Sawmills Inc. is a lease with an American company that wants to utilize a small non-union crew in Midway, mill Canadian logs, and subsequently ship them to its plant in Colville, Wash. for finishing.

This plan is to effectively take the Canadian logs and add the value south of the border.

We have invested in two sawmills in the Kootenays, without any government assistance, and continue to invest in these businesses.

We will compete vigorously to protect our business, employees and community.

Andrew Horahan, International Forest Products Limited