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LETTER: Embattled B.C. forest industry needs government leadership

Industry getting attention ‘for all the wrong reasons’
Logging trucks from around the province arrive at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in downtown Vancouver to protest forest industry job loss, Sept. 27, 2019. (Kat Slepian/Black Press Media)

For many years and more so in recent months, the B.C. Truck Loggers Association has called for a collective vision for forestry in our province – and today, we are renewing the call and asking the B.C. government to facilitate the way forward, as a matter of urgency.

Forestry has been at the forefront of media attention for the last several months, for all the wrong reasons. The focus has been the conflict between environmental groups and forestry companies over the logging of old growth at Fairy Creek. Lost in the back and forth has been any constructive and collaborative conversation or attempt to strike a solution.

Now, with a B.C. Supreme Court justice denying an extension of the injunction, the rule of law has been thrown out the window, creating a level of uncertainty that goes well beyond Fairy Creek and has serious implications for the entire sector, forest dependent communities and working families.

The vision will not come about through any singular one of the vested interests, including the Truck Loggers Association, forest licensees, non-government organizations, First Nations or community groups. That is why we are calling on the Premier and Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to take a leadership role, bring the key stakeholder groups together – in a real, thoughtful and collaborative manner.

If we truly and collectively want the sector to prosper, there are solutions to address government and societies’ expectations of B.C.’s forest management. However, this requires meaningful collaboration, decision-making that is informed by a true understanding of the issues, and the consequences affecting the livelihood of B.C.’s forest workers and resource communities dependent on its success for their ongoing sustainability.

It’s time for a solution and a clear vision – and we are looking to the BC government to lead the way.

Bob Brash, Executive Director, Truck Loggers Association of B.C.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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