Macdonald: Forests legislation amendments likely won’t proceed

Amendments to forests legislation is very problematic, says Opposition forests critic, but likely won't get passed before election

Opposition Forestry critic and Columbia River—Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald said the forest legislation amdendments introduced by the provincial government likely won’t get passed prior to the May election.

“If they try to use closure on this one, I tell you, it would be criminal,” Macdonald said of a proposed policy that would allow the conversion of volume-based forest cutting permits to area-based tenures.

Macdonald said the proposed legislation lacked clarity around First Nations and community oversight, and wasn’t something to be rushed through. “You are giving up real property rights when you create a [Tree Farm Licence],” Macdonald said. “You have to be very careful in doing that.”

Macdonald said, adding that as they stood, the proposals had “huge shortcomings on the public interest.” He worried about loss of public input, saying the area-based TFLs could fall under the control of

Macdonald also reacted to the latest provincial budget, saying it ignored the recommendations of a 2012 timber supply committee he participated in. The committee toured the province, gathering over 650 submissions.

Macdonald said a $35 million cut in the ministry budget would hurt silviculture and the ministry’s ability to gather data.

“We have 74 per cent of our land base is working from data that is over 30 years old, and obviously you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” he said. “As Revelstoke knows, there’s no money to involve communities in land use decision-making. We called for all of these things. Not only did the government not move, they chose to cut another $35 million.”

Some environmental groups also reacted to the announcement. Wilderness Committee national campaign director Joe Foy said the creation of more TFLs would make protecting the environment and jobs harder. “If this passes, it will set off a massive privatization of the public’s forest lands as more and more forestry companies roll over their tenures into Tree Farm Licence Agreements,” he said. “This is the biggest change proposed for forestry that I’ve seen in my lifetime – and it’s all bad,” said Foy.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Applications for 2019 Revelstoke Community Foundation about to close

This year there is more than $65,000 to distribute

‘This province has never ending secrets’: Canada jays in Revelstoke largely unstudied

John Woods spoke at the last CRED Talk on Canada’s unofficial national bird

Readers weigh in: Should shock collars on dogs be banned?

We asked and you had a lot to say. Here’s some of what

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Shuswap facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Most Read