From John Jack, Chair Huumiis Ventures LP, and Shannon Janzen, Chair TFL 44 LP Board
As leaders for Huumiis Ventures LP and TFL 44 LP, we have reviewed the video footage of the incident involving contractors that took place on the afternoon of May 4, 2021.
The behaviour of the individuals in the video is completely unacceptable and is entirely at odds with our shared values. The use of racist language, intimidation, and acts of violence have no place in our society or our workplaces, and we have zero tolerance for such behaviour. We are fully supportive of the right to peaceful and legal protest and the obligation of all forest companies, including TFL 44 LP, to provide a safe work environment. We appreciate that there may be disagreements about how our forests are managed in British Columbia, but we expect those disagreements to be addressed in a respectful manner, free from violence and racism.
Through our limited partnership, this incident is being treated with the utmost seriousness and urgency. On May 5, we notified the RCMP and WorkSafe BC, and we asked the contractor to conduct a full investigation of the role of that contractor’s employees in the May 4 incident. And, we have paused activities in the area pending the outcome of these investigations.
We are also engaging a respected third party with an extensive history in multi-party engagement and fact-based incident investigation as an independent special advisor to TFL 44 LP. The Special Advisor’s mandate will be to review the incident, meet those involved who are willing to be interviewed, meet with other interested parties and prepare a report including recommendations as soon as possible on how to ensure continued safe forestry operations, while also ensuring individuals are able to exercise their right to peaceful and legal protest, all in accordance with Huu-ay-aht’s three sacred principles: ʔiisaak (Utmost Respect), ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care of), and Hišuk ma c̕awak (Everything is Connected).
Yesterday, all TFL 44 LP contractors and their crews received a repeat briefing on the critical importance of adhering to forest operation safety and already-established public protest protocols which focus on respectful non-engagement.
As soon as possible, the TFL 44 LP Board will meet with Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations Leadership to provide an update on the incident and seek their advice and input on further steps to be taken. Finally, we have already engaged with the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, who are fully supportive of the investigations.
Please be assured, we will do everything to address this incident swiftly and with the serious and respectful focus it deserves.
John Jack and Shannon Janzen