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John Horgan holds private meeting in Fraser Lake after threats shut down public event

Last Updated Jan 19, 2020 at 10:19 pm PDT

(Courtesy fraserlake.ca)
Summary

The village of Fraser Lake has a population of about 1,000, most jobs are at a local mine or sawmill

The mayor says she understands the threats came from people working in the struggling forestry industry

FRASER LAKE (NEWS 1130) — After security threats prompted the cancellation of a public event in the north-central community of Fraser Lake, John Horgan met with municipal officials at a private meeting Saturday.

Mayor Sarrah Storey says she understands the safety concerns originated online–with a series of social media posts threatening to greet the premier with violence, pies in the face and a blockade of the highway.

The village of Fraser Lake has a population of about 1,000. It’s home to a mine and a sawmill which employ the majority of residents.

Storrey says she understands the threats came from people working in the struggling forestry industry.

“It was tough to hear that people were upset, but at the same time we realize that forestry concerns are very valid in north-central B.C., and all over the province truly.”

RELATED:B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

She says the move to make the event private–and to shorten it by an hour–wasn’t hers to make, adding her priority was to have the meeting proceed.

“People in the community were really upset that there was no longer a public event but we tried to invite everybody that we could, and to make sure that he toured the area and got to know the community so we could advocate on behalf of the community. We’ve been waiting for a long time for a premier to come to Fraser Lake and hear our concerns and our issues,” she says. “We just went with what was going to be safe.”

The contentious Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline is set to run through the community but Storrey says pipeline protesters weren’t cause for concern.

“Around here the LNG pipeline, the Coastal GasLink line is pretty well supported. There’s not a huge amount of opposition because we’re a resource-based area.”

Storrey says she hopes the province can help Fraser Lake replace decaying infrastructure and create jobs.

“It was good to have his ear,” she concludes.

The Office of the Premier says Horgan was able to continue his tour on Saturday, also making a stop in Fort St. James for a hospital announcement, as well as attending a hockey tournament in the region.