BC’s forests are not owned by foreign corporations: letter

LETTERS

While I recognize that most of this article was based on quotes from Mr. Woodward, I would have thought that some level of fact checking was in order. Mr. Woodward’s agenda is quite clear, but as someone who was spent his entire working life in the forest industry starting from weekend cleanup in a sawmill to senior executive positions I find his statements simply offensive.

BC’s forests are not owned by foreign corporations. The VAST majority of forest land is owned by the province (i.e. all of the citizens of the province). The only significant portion that is privately held (the land, mostly on Vancouver Island, managed by Mosaic) is owned by two Canadian pension plans, one of which manages the pensions for the majority of BC’s government workers, including teachers. The majority of the corporations that have timber harvesting rights in the province are also not foreign-owned. They are companies that started in small communities like Williams Lake and Quesnel and have grown their operations far beyond BC’s and Canada’s borders but continue to be based here in this province.

As for the forests being managed by Ottawa and Victoria, I’m not aware of any material forest policy being set at the federal level, except perhaps on aboriginal land. While forest policy may be set in Victoria, the province’s forests are managed by dedicated, hard working professionals in ministry offices located in rural and semi-rural communities across the province. That seems like pretty local management to me.

Even a little a bit of research before publishing this story would have resulted in something a little less misleading.

Brian Banfill