Premier Christy Clark paid a visit to Downie Timber on Wednesday – the first-ever visit to the successful industrial operation by a provincial premier. She was pretty impressed by what she learned during her visit, which also saw her demonstrate some tangible political support for Doug Clovechok, the party’s candidate here in next year’s election. David F. Rooney photo By David F. Rooney
Premier Christy Clark paid a visit to Downie Timber on Wednesday – the first-ever visit to the successful industrial operation by a provincial premier. She was pretty impressed by what she learned during her visit, which also saw her demonstrate some tangible political support for Doug Clovechok, the party’s candidate here in next year’s election.
This was Christy’s second visit to Revelstoke since becoming premier and greatly delighted Peter Bernacki, the BC Liberal Constituency Association’s vice-president who happens to be a huge Christy Clark supporter and fan. Peter has been attempting to get Clark here for the last three years. For Clovechok,. her visit was a political godsend. Not only did she tour the mill with him and mention his countless times, she also went door-knocking with him in Columbia Park.
Being ‘on’ for long periods of time has to be tough but Clark carried it off almost effortlessly – always a good sign you’re dealing with a competent politician. She was genuinely curious, particularly about women in the workplace and zeroed-in on the women workers she met right away. She wanted to know what made Downie so successful and the tour gave her a very good sense of that.
I also interviewed Clark at the conclusion of the tour and will publish that story separately on Friday afternoon. In the meantime, here is a series of photos from the premier’s visit (her second since becoming premier) to Revelstoke;
Premier Christy Clark was greeted at Downie Timber by Doug Clovechok, the BC Liberals’ candidate in next year’s general election. David F. Rooney photo Mayor Mark McKee greets the premier at the mill. McKee had a number of topics he wanted to bring up with Clark, which he did in a private discussion later on in the day. David F. Rooney photo Inside the mill office Downie Timber General Manager Alan Smythe described the state of the successful mill and its place in the BC forest industry. David F. Rooney photo The premier poses with the mill’s office staff. As you’ll see in subsequent photos taken during the day, the premier is always very aware of the women in whatever organization he is visiting. David F. Rooney photo Alan takes a few moments to talk about about the machines in the industrial areas ahead of them. Safety does come first at Downie Timber, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a joke or two. “In case of a fire,” he said, “I’d like Mark to grab a fire extinguisher and give it to Doug so he can put it out while Christy and I run away.” It was worth a smile but it was nonetheless a good thing there was no fire that day. David F. Rooney photo The premier asks a question of an equipment operator in the mill. David F. Rooney photo Clark was very curious about the mill and its workers. David F. Rooney photo Alan leads the way between two banks of electrical panels. David F. Rooney photo Alan Smythe points something out to the premier as she enters a space filled with workers. Please watch the short video at the bottom of this story to see what she had to say. David F. Rooney photo Staff at the mill were as curious about Christy Clark as she was about them. She was, afterall, the first premier to visit the mill – ever. David F. Rooney photo Clark shakes hands with one of the mill’s female workers. David F. Rooney photo And here she does again. It was obvious to anyone watching that Clark was very pleased to see women in the industrial work place. David F. Rooney photo Clark poses for a photo with this worker, Rob, with whom she exchanged a word or two during her short speech. Watch the two-minute video to hear what was said. David F. Rooney photo The premier poses for a group shot with staff at the mill. Please click on this image to see a larger version. David F. Rooney photo The premier admires a set of very sharp saw blades as Alan explains their uses. David F. Rooney photo At the end of the tour Clovechok presented the boss he hopes to have after the 2017 election with a hockey jersey belonging to his son-in-law, goalie Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild, to demonstrate his appreciation of her willingness to go door-knocking with him and generally show her support for his efforts on behalf of the party. Clark described him as BC’s “longest-serving unelected MLA” for his efforts on behalf of the people of Columbia River-Revelstoke since his unsuccessful campaign in 2013. Since then Clovechok has served on the [arty executive, working with MLAs and gaining some valuable experience in the BC Liberals’ internal machinations. David F. Rooney photo Premier Christy Clark had reason to look pleased during a one-on-one interview with The Current. BC, she said, has the strongest economy in the country.You can read the story from ghat interview on Friday afternoon. David F. Rooney photo Some days you just never know who’s going to show up at your front door. Afterall, who’d expect the premier? And that’s who the Speerbreckers found when Mike answered a knock by BC Liberal candidate Doug Clovechok after their tour at Downie mill (top). Naturally, Mike called his wife Maria to the door and their daughter Chloe, and son Raytmond. David F. Rooney photo Now here’s a true political ritual. Unabashed and enthusiastic supporter Peter Bernacki almost always gets a hug from his premier. David F. Rooney photo Mayor McKee, himself a former BC Liberal election candidate, gets an unexpected and good-natured hug of his own. He obviously enjoyed it! David F. Rooney photo McKee, who ran for the party in 2009, Bernacki and Clovechok pose with the premier by one of several signs Peter erected at his home where BC Liberals and their sympathizers gathered on Wednesday evening to meet Christy Clark. David F. Rooney photo Premier Clark addresses the crowd of more than 80 people who gathered at Bernacki’s home on the riverbank in Columbia Park. David F. Rooney photo Edie Schleiss talks with Clark for a few moments in Peter’s kitchen as the premier cruised the room meeting with people individually. David F. Rooney photo Norm and Chantal Langlois bid farewell to Clark and Clovechok as they leave the party. David F. Rooney photo MLA Greg Kyllo and his wife Georgina (center) pose with Premier Clark and Susan and Doug Clovechok at the end of the Wednesday evening party. Professional photographer Lindsay Esson (visit her website at www.lindsayessonphotography.com for more information) was very busy, shooting hundreds of photos. David F. Rooney photo Premier Clark poses with Peter and his partner Melinda Bell a few minutes before she left for the evening.David F. Rooney photo VIDEO