The NDP Government’s so-called plan to “modernize” forestry will gut resource communities, hurt the B.C. economy, and put thousands out of work. It’s a nightmare scenario: an industry that will shrink by half, closing as many as 20 sawmills and putting 18,000+ people out of work. One expert says B.C.’s resource sector will be made “un-investible” by this plan.
There’s a better path, but one that will take the B.C. Government opening up true consultation with Indigenous and business leaders.
“Government’s policy directions and decisions have set in motion an unprecedented level of uncertainty and concern among the thousands of hard-working men and women in our sector,” said Bob Brash of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA). “[This was] a decision to defer 2.6 million hectares of old growth came without meaningful consultation, followed by government fast tracking legislation – giving Cabinet sweeping authority to redistribute tenures and unilaterally determine compensation rights of the affected parties.”
The TLA and ICBA have called for meaningful collaboration among all key stakeholders, including First Nations, community groups, licensees, and non-government organizations. There is an opportunity for a collective vision for forestry that addresses society’s expectations of B.C.’s forest-management while ensuring decision-making is informed with a true understanding of the issues and the consequences.
In short: don’t ram through job- and industry-killing legislation. Talk to stakeholders instead.
By involving everyone in the forestry industry, solutions can be supported by more than just a handful of eco-activists. Jobs, communities, investments, Indigenous rights can all be given proper priority and respect.
The NDP Government has acted in a kneejerk manner, ramming through the legislation.