Two weeks ago, North Island MLA Michele Babchuk suggested that “more consultation needs to happen” in response to questions about the lack of meaningful consultation between government and affected stakeholders with respect to forest policy changes.
Not only are we still waiting, but the MLAs assurances are cold comfort to those already adversely affected by policy changes announced so far without any kind of consultation whatsoever.
Consultation does not happen on its own. It is a policy decision in itself, and Ms. Babchuk could and should take a more proactive stance and start the process in her own backyard where forestry continues to play an important role in the lives of many now, and for the foreseeable future.
She could start by hosting a town hall-style meeting where she could meet with constituents affected by government’s policy and then take their message to Victoria - and as someone who was elected to represent all constituents, that message needs to be conveyed whether she agrees with it or not.
Again, as an elected member, the MLA could then report back on what she has done, who she has consulted with, and explain what government plans to do, or not do, regarding her constituents’ concerns. Voters would then have a clear understanding about whether MLA Babchuk and the governing party she represents are prepared to work with the men and women in the forest community who are looking for leadership.
Bob Brash, RPF
Executive Director, Truck Loggers Association of BC