Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

The Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo, B.C., on April 30, 2014.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

A man charged in a mass shooting at a Vancouver Island sawmill where he was laid off six years ago may now be entitled to severance pay as part of a settlement involving a group of former workers.

Kevin Addison, 47, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder after a shooting at the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo on April 30. The company has said the suspect in the shooting was a former employee.

Former co-workers have said Addison was among roughly 160 workers laid off from the downtown sawmill in 2008, most of whom were not hired back when the facility reopened in 2010, setting off a long-running labour dispute over severance. The case also involves more than 100 workers at another mill on the outskirts of the city, which was shut down in 2009 and also later reopened with a fraction of the staff.

Story continues below advertisement

The labour dispute ended last week, when an arbitration settlement worth $1.2 million was reached between Western Forest Products and its union, United Steelworkers Local 1-1937.

The money will be divided between qualifying employees from the two mills, said union business agent Chris Cinkant.

Cinkant said it's too early to say whether Addison will qualify for severance. He said the union will now begin the process of creating a list of qualified employees.

"It'll take a little while in case anyone has slipped through the cracks or that kind of thing," Cinkant said.

"People have moved on here and there so we need to find them. ... This should provide some closure for all those who have been waiting and wondering whether or not they're going to get money."

Western Forest Products plant chairman Michael Lunn, 62, and supervisor Fred McEachern, 53, were both shot dead, while supervisor Earl Kelly and vice-president of manufacturing Tony Sudar were wounded.

Lunn was a union steward who attended hearings when the United Steelworkers took the company to court in 2011 over allegations that were described as "severance pay avoidance."

Story continues below advertisement

A labour arbitrator ruled in favour of the company in 2012, prompting the union to launch an appeal.

The process was delayed further when the arbitrator fell ill.

Cinkant said the union and the company recently agreed to end the dispute by allowing a mediator to decide how much money should be paid out.

Mediator John McConchie issued a binding report that said $1.2 million will be divided proportionally, based on years of service, to eligible employees who were on seniority lists at the time of the mill closures.

"We were hopeful for more money, of course, but at the end of the day this is best for everybody," Cinkant said.

"This has gone on now for what seems like forever, especially to those affected. People are frustrated. I'm just happy it's all finally over."

Story continues below advertisement

Western Forest Products spokeswoman Amy Spencer said the company is also relieved "and we're looking forward to moving ahead."

Meanwhile, Addison has made several appearances in Nanaimo provincial court.

His next court date is set for Sept 2.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies