A monument has been constructed at Jack Point Park in memorial to the victims of the April 2014 shooting at the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo.
Two men were killed and two were injured during the incident at the waterfront mill, which has since closed, and a wood viewing platform was built in collaboration with the City of Nanaimo, Western Forest Products, Snuneymuxw First Nation and the United Steel Workers union Nanaimo local, according to the city.
“It was staff from Western Forest Products that initiated this and they wanted to come up with some type of memorial to the two workers who had been killed and they thought an appropriate place would be out at Jack Point partly because it overlooks where the mill used to be, where the incident happened,” said Ian Thorpe, Nanaimo city councillor and parks and rec commission chairman.
Thorpe said staff from Western Forest Products provided the materials. The union will provide a dedication plaque for the platform. A City of Nanaimo parks crew built the platform and upgrades to the boardwalk in that area of the park came with assistance of Snuneymuxw, he said.
Al Britton, city manager of park operations, said some work had to be done to set up the memorial.
“If you know Jack Point at all … there’s a section of trail that went through the rock, it’s kind of a steep rock,” said Britton. “So what we did is we made the trail itself safe by putting a boardwalk in there and extending a viewing platform roughly [4.6 metres] by [1.5 metres] out overlooking the bay there.”
Marlene Lunn, whose husband Michael passed way in the incident, said she was originally seeking a bench, but is pleased with the platform.
Lunn said it is ideally situated as it overlooks the old mill site and is close to the Duke Point mill, where some of the workers were transferred to.
“It’s beautiful, it’s overlooking the ocean … it’s quite close to where they are, it’s about a 40-minute walk to get there. It’s beautiful, absolutely gorgeous,” said Lunn.