Friday, January 17, 2014

This Day In Snookland...Is The Premier Playing Politics With The Burns Lake Mill Tragedy?


First.... Last week, Crown counsel announced that there will be no criminal charges.

Second... Earlier today, the WorkSafe BC investigation is released that concludes that the tragedy was preventable given the fact that the mill had a history of not cleaning up the combustibles in the mill or maintaining/upgrading the equipment that ignited said combustibles (pg 76):

...The accumulations of wood waste before the explosion and the poor condition of some of the electrical equipment that was inspected after the incident indicate that supervisors were not effectively or adequately monitoring the work that was being done...

Third...Later today, Christy Clark calls for an investigation, because:

...Clark says the people of Burns Lake deserve an explanation...

And guess who will, allegedly, implement the Premier's hand-crafted 'investigation' to provide the deserved 'explanation':

..."I've asked the head of the BC Civil Service, Deputy Minister John Dyable (sic), to review the case — to review the fact pattern, come back and give us the facts so that we know and understand what happened with the investigation and the decisions around it."...


Does mean that this investigation, too, will be a most convenient 'Quick Win'?


Meanwhile, if an already snookified advisory board still produces a report that doesn't agree with all the Propagammon fit for Potemkin that fits?....Well...You know.



Anonymous said...

Heard an interesting story about Dyble the other day.

He was, apparently, discussing management and administrative issues with a civil servant and the question of how to deal with subordinates came up. Dyble, apparently, summed up his philosophy of people management in, approximately, these words: ' If the people who report to you don't hate your guts you're not doing your job properly.'

I'll leave that with no other explanation and sign off, obviously, as anonymous....You get what you pay for!

chuckstraight said...

Canadian Electrical code has requirements for conditions as they exixt in the mill. With cutting dead wood, the conitions change. Dry sawdust, fine dust- not the same with green wood. You bet BC has a right to know- they always did.

Lew said...

I wrote Mr. Dyble on January 07, 2013 and asked him the following questions because his subordinate, Ms. Lynda Tarras would not answer them:

• Are managers in the public service advised to conduct investigations into serious misconduct by employees without leaving any written record? If so, under what circumstances?

• Are background checks conducted on Order in Council appointments?

• The conduct of any investigation into serious employee misconduct without leaving one written word would be exceedingly difficult even if everyone involved knew no record was to be created. There would necessarily have to be consensus and direction to act in that manner. Who provided that direction regarding the investigation into the Premier’s Chief of Staff?

• Can you assure me that any employment reference provided by the provincial government regarding current or former BC provincial public servants is complete in that it does not omit misconduct confirmed by investigation but not recorded?

Apparently he’s too busy to answer.

e.a.f. said...

no great surprise that no one was found "responsible". Never thought anything would come of it. This next "phase" is simply to put things off further, in hopes people will forget about it.

where or where were the safety inspectors of things such as WorkSafe B.C.? when was the mill last inspected by WorkSafe inspectors?

'the fire was no "accident". it happened for a reason and that reason is neglect. People need to take notice how much the lieberals care about workers.

Ron S. said...

Didn't they just conclude a investigation and didn't the report say there were supervisor problems and electrical code violations. Now we need another white wash investigation so Crusty can spend more money on her friends?

If worksafe can't produce a competent investigation, why do we have them?

What a JOKE!

RossK said...



The investigation has been done and it has been concluded.

Personally, I'm not so sure the intent here is all whitewash...Instead, based on past performance/public print skullduggstuntery, I am of the opinion that the leader of the Snooklandians floated this to see if expedient political hay can be flung from this bandwagon (which, of course, is powered by recycled, highly cynical SparklePony oil).


Anonymous said...

The primary objective of Clark Government, after this devastating fire, was to accommodate the Mill Owners by ensuring they had a sustainable wood supply. Although this facility is a joint Native/ US Corporate operation, the American ownership advised unless they had a guaranteed supply of logs they would not rebuild the mill. A new supply arrangement was granted by the Provincial Government. Whether this forestry operation will continue to clear cut both beetle wood along with healthy non-pine species remains to be seen. Will they also pay little or no stumpage for this resource?

As for Work Safe like all BC Crown Agencies are more politicized than ever before.

RossK said...

Thanks for the details Anon-Above.

Can you point us towards a source?

Thanks again.


Anonymous said...

Right there in the intro...


RossK said...

Thanks SH--

Follow-up post comin'...


Anonymous said...

Sorry Ross, I missed your follow-up question until now.

The Burns Lake Sawmill is known as Babine Forest Products Ltd and the american major owner is Hampton Affiliates.Hampton acquired the Babine Forest Products sawmill in late 2006 in a joint venture with the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation of Burns Lake (“BLNDC”). The BLNDC represents six local First Nations bands and focuses on identifying and developing economic ventures and initiatives to help the Aboriginal people of the B.C

The following two articles were from the CBC website in 2012.

Nw I just have to fine the appropriate Ministry of Forest documents.

Anonymous said...

Ross the Ministry of Forests provided this correspondence on Nov 21, 2011.

RossK said...

Thanks very, very much Anon-Above.

Have to climb in the cigar tube first thing tomorrow a.m. but will try and do the reading and get something up on this in the next few days.

btw - glad to see that the Globe's Gary Mason is almost keeping up on this one.