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Posted January 19, 2011

The Death Of A Sawmill

The tenth anniversary of closure of Timberwest’s Youbou sawmill — and its economic and family fallout — will be discussed during tomorrow’s Eye-Opener Film Series in Duncan.

Cowichan Valley News Leader Pictorial - Peter Rusland, January 18, 2011

The Death Of A Sawmill
Ban Raw Log Exports filmmakers Travis Stock, (left), Brent Rayner and Marc Messier plan a follow-up movie about impacts on local families after the government allowing logs, and value-added jobs, to be shipped out of B.C.
Photo by Peter W. Rusland


The tenth anniversary of closure of Timberwest’s Youbou sawmill — and its economic and family fallout — will be discussed during tomorrow’s Eye-Opener Film Series in Duncan.

The Cowichan Citizens’ Coalition will screen the documentaries Stump To Dump, and Raw Log Exports made by Lake Cowichan Secondary School students.

Discussion will involve Youbou Timberless Society members, plus Ken Wu and T.J. Watt of the Ancient Forest Alliance.

YTS, the Tree-Huggers and Tree-Cutters Alliance, and the Citizens’ Coalition were formed after protests about the mill’s demise on Jan. 26, 2001.

It was allowed shut by Victoria after then-forests minister, Dave Zirnhelt, signed a document that removed Clause 7 linking Timberwest’s annual allowable cut to keeping the mill open.

The mill’s closure tossed some 220 workers out of jobs, sparking seven years of failed court challenges by the YTS.

Bitterness of the closure still simmers among YTS members and local families.

In the 2006 24-minute Ban Raw Log Exports, filmmakers Brent Rayner and buddies Travis Stock, Reece Docherty and Cody Lawson express their anger about what they see as corporate mismanagement of Crown timber, and raw-log exports allowed by Victoria while wood-manufacturing jobs go begging.

“The Liberals aren’t listening,” said Rayner. “They’re after the money and we’re all just numbers.”

The selective-logging fan said the 2007 disappearance of his unemployed Youbou mill-worker father, Darreld, isn’t linked to the operation’s closure.

“He wouldn’t have done that to our family.”

Stock — whose dad, Ken, works for Island Pacific Logging — said raw-log exports make no sense.

“I hope people see how our logs are sent to the states when we have families here to be employed processing those logs.”

 

Your ticket

What: Youbou mill closure films and discussion

When: Jan. 20, 7 p.m.

Where: Duncan United Church, Ingram Street

Tickets: By donation. Call 250-701-1682


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