The Shimizu family at the monument outside the federal building in Prince Rupert. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View) The Shimizu family at the monument outside the federal building in Prince Rupert. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

What the cherry tree mishap in northern B.C. cost the federal government

Cost breakdown for cutting down Prince Rupert’s cherry trees and the apology

One of the biggest stories in Prince Rupert for 2018 was when the federal government contracted to have Japanese cherry trees next to its offices cut down, and then the eventual apology and plaque commemorating the history of those trees.

Public Services and Procurement Canada, the federal department responsible for removing the trees in March, said the total cost is $46,369.86, from the initial contract work to remove the trees through to the plaque unveiling and associated travel.

In 1959 and 1960, Shotaro Shimizu, a former resident who had been interned during the Second World War, donated 1,500 cherry trees to the city. On Nov. 16, the government apologized to the Shimizu family for mistakenly removing some of the trees in March.

“This situation was not typical for the department and involved some additional costs, including travel for the Shimizu family to attend the unveiling event in person. There will be minor ongoing costs for future care of the trees, which will be part of the regular maintenance budget for the Prince Rupert federal building,” said Erin Macpherson, communications manager in the Pacific Region for Public Services and Procurement Canada.

The cost breakdown:

  • Initial contract to remove the trees: $12,120
  • Subsequent work including landscaping, care of the remaining trees and replacement of the removed trees: $10,815.17
  • Shipping the salvaged wood from the two removed trees to Greg Shimizu in Edmonton: $1,720.01
  • Plaque and associated costs: $5,599.03.
  • November 15 event, including all travel: $16,115.65
  • Total: $46,369.86

READ MORE: Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees



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