Ministry mulls options as Meadow Creek Cedar misses deadline

Ministry mulls options as Meadow Creek Cedar misses deadline

The Ministry of Forests is getting legal advice after Meadow Creek Cedar met some but not all of the requirements of a remediation order.

The Ministry of Forests is getting legal advice after Meadow Creek Cedar met some but not all of the requirements of a remediation order by a March 31 deadline.

District manager Garth Wiggill says while the company fell short, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

“They still have four staff actively working on the ongoing obligations in the order,” he told 103.5 Juice FM. “Meadow Creek has ordered trees for planting this spring. We are, however, considering further legal action on the license, which remains suspended.”

Wiggill said the ministry has seized about 11,000 cubic meters of unmilled logs from the site of the company’s mill, which burned in November, and is selling them to other mills in the area to service debts to the Crown.

He added that the ministry is aware the company is “actively negotiating with several interested buyers” for the license. “We would support the transfer of the license to a suitable and qualified buyer,” he said. “We [told] them time is of the essence if they are planning to sell. We would like to see it concluded sooner than later.”

Wiggill said he expects to have the legal opinion on how to proceed within the next couple of weeks and confirmed cancelling the license remains an option.

The license, suspended in November for the second time since 2012, was on the brink of cancellation last year when owner Dale Kooner worked out a deal to sell it to San Group of Surrey. The company paid off $150,000 in accrued debts, “substantially met” a remediation order, and restarted the mill.

However, rural Kaslo regional district director Aimee Watson said the license transfer fell through and Kooner has since hired an asset manager to help bring the company back to good standing. She worries that whoever buys the license may not rebuild the mill.