Editor, The Times:
Clearwater is a very resilient town, we are a town of doers, not a town of doubters. This week’s announcement of the closure of the Canfor mill at Vavenby is a very big blow, but we’ve been through this before, and we’re still here because we pick ourselves up, come up with a new plan and we move forward. This time will be no different. I have full confidence in the resilience of our people. We will make a new plan, and we will move forward once again.
This past week has been a whirlwind of phone calls, of concern and condolences from our friends far and wide and from our neighbours close by. Our partners on the TNRD board, our MLA and MP, our former Mayor, Council and MLA, as well our Business, Social, and Government leaders… all have offered their assistance.
Sometimes we don’t appreciate all that we have here, but when I go to other places and tell other people what we have accomplished here, they are impressed. Clearwater is a place that is seen as the little town that gets things done. This challenge will be no different. We have already started the wheels turning on plans for short term employment, we have reached out to other industries to help find local work for our people, and we have handed the provincial government a solid list of ideas to help move us forward.
Clearwater, Vavenby, Blue River, McBride, Valemount, and Barriere … these are the little dots on the BC map where the big truckloads of raw dollars come from. Sure they may get refined into something cleaner and prettier in the big cities like Vancouver, but our places are the places where dirty hands carve wealth from the forests and the ground, receive dollars from awestruck world travelers, and herd or harvest our food across the fields into waiting trucks. We are the birthplace of the wealth of this province. We ask for very little in return, but when the going gets tough, we ask of those in power elsewhere to remember where BC’s prosperity begins. Small town BC doesn’t ask for much, but when we do ask, it’s because we need it.
The people of Clearwater, Vavenby and the rest of the valley are a tough bunch. When it comes to a good fight, we punch well above our weight, and this will be a fight for sure, but I’m confident in the commitment of our side. We may come out the other side of this looking different, but I am certain we will come out just fine. Stay strong!
Mayor Merlin Blackwell,
District of Clearwater