Did I read it correctly? “B.C.’s mills are always the preferred destination for our timber and together we produce world-class value-added forest products.” (Liberal candidate Nick Facey, April 19 issue, Mirror)
If B.C. mills are the preferred destination for timber grown on public lands why, in 2003, did the Liberals remove the requirement to first offer logs to B.C. mills leaving the surplus to be exported? Since then, log exports have spiked and record numbers of unemployed forestry sector workers line up for Employment Insurance.
Very few British Columbians would not favour seeing the majority of B.C.’s logs being used in a thriving manufacturing industry rather than see log-laden ships leaving for manufacture elsewhere. B.C. has always exported logs, but not at the expense of B.C. mills and jobs. All sectors of the industry would benefit from a government whose priorities maximize the value-added opportunities as well as see healthy exports.
Instead, we have suffered under a government which has seen the closure of over 70 mills, a demise of over 30,000 jobs, a deregulation of numerous forestry laws that protected environment and jobs, and facilitated a massive expansion in raw log exports.