Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb embrace local logging contractors at the Rally to Vancouver protest Wednesday. Dozens of residents from the Cariboo took part in the truck rally to bring attention to the struggles and job loss of forestry workers in the region. (Scott Nelson photo)

Editorial: Road warriors

Let’s keep up the support up for our friends and neighbours, our struggling families

B.C. loggers managed to capture the attention of the entire province for a time Wednesday afternoon when they took part in the Rally to Vancouver.

The protest was initially started by logger Howard McKimmon out of Merritt but quickly gathered momentum, capturing the support of our usually politically-shy loggers right here in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Used to working long, early hours, dozens of frustrated forestry workers took to their rigs and the road for 10 or more hours one way to join forces with hundreds of other loggers to bring awareness to the critical state of the forest industry.

Third generation logging contractor Jorden Ilnicki, who rallied the troops from the Cariboo, said he just felt compelled to do something after months of not being able to provide work for his crew.

Read More:‘We’re all getting hit hard’: Cariboo loggers to join truck rally and protest job losses

So there they were, captured by a DriveBC camera and scores of cell phones, crossing the Port Mann Bridge Wednesday afternoon in an unusual sight on their way to the doorstep of the Union of B.C. Municipalities 2019 convention.

Barely able to contain their pride and enthusiasm, Williams Lake City Councillor Scott Nelson, Mayor Walt Cobb, Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Willie Sellars stood by, giving us moment-to-moment updates.

We’re guessing our politicians are tired of fighting alone for rural B.C., their voices likely drowned out by many other pressing issues in the city.

Read More: ‘They’re hearing us now’: Cariboo leaders leave UBCM convention to cheer on rallying Cariboo loggers

So when those trucks rolled in on Howe Street and West Hastings, and city residents were tweeting ‘why are there 14 kilometres of logging trucks in the city,’ you couldn’t help but see the spirits of our local workers and politicians lifted, even if just for a short time.

So let’s keep up the support up for our friends and neighbours, our struggling families. Show them we care as much about them as they did about us when they quietly went about saving our city and our neighbourhoods from burning down during the 2017 wildfires.

It’s the least we can do.

– Williams Lake Tribune

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