LETTER: Paying tribute to Pacific Insight

From reader K. Driedger

In another few days, the most recent layoffs at Pacific Insight, now Methode Electronics, will take effect and bring to an end to manufacturing operations in Nelson. The small group that remains will occupy only a small corner of a facility that, at its peak, employed over 400 people assembling electronics and wire harnesses for companies like Ford, GM, Polaris, and many others.

Countless bright, dedicated people put years of their lives into making PI so successful that it ultimately attracted the attention of a billion-dollar company. It is a rather bitter reward that as a result of their efforts many of these exceptional people are now looking for work. If you can, hire them!

It’s natural to point fingers and assign blame for what has happened, but as we process the loss it’s also worth remembering the good that PI brought to Nelson and how remarkable it really was. Companies like PI don’t just spontaneously appear in small towns. They need someone who loves the community, believes in it, and wants to invest in it.

In 1987 that person was Brad Smithson, who moved his newly formed company back to his hometown of Nelson and then guided it through steady growth over the next 20 years. At the time, some may have argued that moving to Nelson was not a good business decision, but Brad saw the potential here that may not have been obvious to others.

The rest is history. Over the years, almost 4,500 people have worked at PI Nelson, earning money and gaining valuable experience in a high-tech industry. The end is sad because we are mourning the loss of something that was good. I, like many others, would not have had the opportunity to learn what I did, nor to raise my family and live in Nelson if it was not for Pacific Insight. For that I am very grateful. Thank you Pacific Insight, and thank you Brad.

K. Driedger

Nelson

Just Posted

Leafs lose marathon season opener

Nelson fell 3-2 to Fernie in double overtime

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

CHECK THIS OUT: Libraries as safe spaces for the homeless

Anne DeGrace writes about an upcoming movie and talk focused on libraries and homelessness

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

PLACE NAMES: Kaslo and Sandon neighbourhoods

Narrow valley saw Sandon’s main street over a creek

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

Most Read