A shame indeed

Raw logs should only be sold if they are surplus to B.C. needs

In the Sept 7 News article “MLA gets new job in shuffle” Mr. Cantelon said, “I got what I asked for” referring to his new appointment as parliamentary secretary for innovation and technology.

I wish Mr. Cantelon all the best in his new position to “follow his passion” in the wood industry (previously seniors issues).

Mr. Cantelon states: “The crime and the shame is that we are shipping them out in the form of raw logs.”

I would like to offer some insights.

In theory, only logs surplus to B.C.’s needs should ever be contemplated for export (surplus test).To get around this, his government orchestrated the removal of massive amounts of valuable timberland from the public control of our tree farm licenses (TFLs) on Vancouver Island. This paved the way for a geometric increase in raw log export by getting around the surplus test.

The Timber Export Advisory Committee (TEAC) provides the recommendations around when and if logs can be exported from the province under the surplus test. This independent body was still able to tell the government whether log exports would kill local jobs in B.C. and therefore should not be exported.

That left a problem for the Liberal government — how to further increase raw log export off the lands where the surplus test still applied (public lands)?

The answer they found was surprisingly simple. The minister responsible would simply ignore or override their expert advisory committee. And that he did. Just in the first two months of the year, the minister responsible for our forests overturned TEAC, not once, but 86 times! He shut down B.C. jobs to export raw B.C. logs.

As Mister Cantelon says: that is a “crime and a shame” and that crime and shame are the actions of his own government.

Scott Fraser, MLA, Alberni Pacific Rim

 

Qualicum Beach