Cariboo North candidates weigh in on forest industry

The second set of questions the Tribune asked the candidates in the provincial election is about their stance on forestry as follows:

  • May. 1, 2013 9:00 a.m.

The second set of questions the Tribune asked the candidates running in the provincial election is about their stance on forestry as follows:

How would your government protect and enhance forests in B.C. for future generations, while maintaining and creating new forest industry jobs?

What is your position on raw log exports?

Answers are as follows:

MLA Bob Simpson, Indepentent (incumbent)

We need to conduct a comprehensive and independent review of the state of our forests and forest policy.

This means more than simply counting trees – we need a cumulative impacts and climate change impacts inventory and analysis of the entire public land base before investing public money in tree planting.

We also need a fast-tracked independent review of forest policy and the establishment of a provincial chief forester as an independent officer of the BC Legislature in order to protect our public forests from the four-year political cycle and start managing it for future generations.

I participated in a government committee that examined the potential to develop a bio-economy in B.C.

That committee’s recommended action plan is available for the next government to implement. This would create a whole new forest economy in B.C. with long-term sustainable jobs in a renewable resource sector.

Raw logs:

Most of the so-called “raw logs” being exported from B.C. are from private lands and under federal jurisdiction. Therefore we need to partner with the federal government to restrict the flow of these logs from B.C.

We also need a strengthened Private Managed Forest Land Act to ensure the forests on these private lands are being managed sustainably.

The government cannot “ban” log exports as that would shut down what’s left of the coastal forest industry and result in the loss of thousands of harvesting and hauling jobs and put what’s left of the coastal pulp industry at risk.

Instead, the government must work with the coastal industry to implement an escalating tax on log exports over the next three to five years and use the money generated from that tax to fund re-investment in coastal manufacturing.

If current lumber prices hold, this is an ideal time to revitalize the coast industry and maintain the harvesting/hauling jobs while creating new ones in the manufacturing sector.

Duncan Barnett, New Democratic Party, Cariboo North

In mid-April, NDP forestry critic Norm Macdonald visited my campaign office in Quesnel for the second time to outline the five-point New Democrat plan to grow the forest industry and improve the health of B.C. forests.

In the Cariboo, healthy forests mean healthy companies and healthy communities.

Under the BC Liberals, we’ve lost thousands of jobs in forestry and fallen short on maintaining the health of our forests.

That’s why a New Democrat government will implement a $100 million, five-year strategic and operational plan to revitalize our forest industry.

We will undertake the inventory work necessary to manage the timber supply and invest in the resource by doubling the number of seedlings planted on Crown land to 50 million a year.

We will see that government has the capacity to undertake climate change research and necessary land use planning.

We will also provide more support for communities suffering from timber shortages due to pine beetle.

Raw logs:

The Cariboo has world class forest companies.  We will work with them and other stakeholders to fully utilize our forest resources, reduce raw log exports and increase international markets for our value-added wood products so that B.C. logs create more B.C. jobs

Coralee Oakes, Liberal Party, Cariboo North

In recent years, we have been faced with the devastation to our forests from the mountain pine beetle epidemic and we must look at increasing regeneration.

In our government’s budget we will be planting 22.7 million seedlings, a 56 per cent increase from last year.

We are also implementing the 10-year $80 million forest inventory plan to ensure 35 million hectares are inventoried in mountain pine beetle affected priority areas.

This inventory will be used to assess forest condition forecasts, timber supply analysis, silviculture, timber harvest planning, habitat mapping, wildlife risk assessment and biodiversity assessments.

We need to be adaptive and better utilize the fibre that is accrued by our forests through bio-energy, wood pellets and finger-jointed lumber.

A key element to the future of our forest industry is being able to take advantage of market upturns and remain competitive when markets are soft as set out in the BC Jobs Plan Forest Sector Strategy.

This strategy has resulted in keeping several of our region’s mills open.

Exports to China are up 1,500 per cent since 2011, and we are expanding into India and South Korea. We will continue to travel overseas to open new markets.

Raw logs:

Our preference is to have logs milled here at home.

The reality is that much of the log exports are derived from private land and isolated communities on the coast of British Columbia.

These exports are what provide the jobs to support the families of these British Columbians. We are committed to ensuring an approach that meets the needs of both domestic mills and the economy in this province.

Just Posted

Crews work to repair Horsefly Road east of Williams Lake . (Ministry of Transportation video)
MoTI activates district operations centre, response to flood damaged roads in Cariboo region

Engineers, experts being pulled from across the province to help

RCMP officers on scene Friday, May 14 off Bond Lake Road on the outskirts of Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating firearms incident near Bond Lake Road

Police officers were on scene Friday morning, May 14

An official naming ceremony for the Nekw7usem Bridge connecting the RC Cotton Trail to Scout Island will take place Monday, May 17 at noon. (Patrick Davies file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City, WLFN hosting naming ceremony for Nekw7usem Bridge in Williams Lake

The pedestrian bridge connects the RC Cotton Trail to Scout Island

Patricia Froberg (from left), Pat Mitchell and Dorothy Ouellette enjoy lunch prepared by members of the Old Age Pensioners Organization for St. Patrick’s Day Wednesday afternoon. Today, May 14, the Old Age Pensioners Organization Branch 93 and the Seniors Activity Centre are hosting an Old Fashioned Drive In lunch with car hop service at the SAC parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Old Fashioned Drive In Lunch on menu at seniors centre today, May 14

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., swing on by the SAC parking lot for an Old Fashioned Drive In lunch

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Most Read