The answer is no

Bob Simpson, in his column, discusses a consistent message heard at the Timber Supply hearings in Vancouver.

During the Special Committee on Timber Supply hearings in Vancouver there was a very telling exchange between Liberal MLA Eric Foster (Vernon-Monashee) and the representative for the Association of Professional Biology that likely reflects the frustration other MLAs on the committee have about the process they’ve been engaged in over the past two months.

Like many other organizations (including the Professional Foresters, the major forest companies, the Council of Forest Industries, and major environmental organizations), the Professional Biologists told the Special Committee that B.C.’s land-use plans should not be re-opened in order to meet timber shortfalls in the near term. Before asking a question of the professional biologist, Foster quipped that it would have “saved a lot of time and energy” if the many organizations that felt this way had simply written a single letter to government. The committee was told time and again that logging in reserves is not an option; it’s clear from the committee’s hearings there is no interest in creating another potential war in the woods by opening up B.C.’s land-use plans. Industry also argued such a move would put B.C.’s reputation as a sustainable forest manager at risk and threaten their third party certification.

Another clear message to the committee was that British Columbians do not have confidence in the government’s forest inventory system. Despite assertions by ministry staff to committee members that government has sufficient data to make “strategic decisions,” every presenter who spoke to this issue indicated a significant lack of confidence in the government’s data. Bottom line, the answer to the main question the committee asked is a resounding “no.” It can’t advise government to log in reserves to get more timber in the short term. In the absence of obtaining the social licence to advise government how to increase mid-term timber supply by encroaching on set aside areas, I hope the committee will choose to advise government to do what it should have been doing all along: immediately begin to work with affected communities to plan for the transition to a smaller traditional forest sector and the job losses that may come as a result. The committee’s final report will be presented on Aug. 15.

Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.

Just Posted

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

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

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

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read