MLA: Public rejects BC Liberal plan to privatize forest lands

Conversion to tree farm licenses being rejected by British Columbians, MLA Norm Macdonald says.

This last week, my email inbox has been fuller than at almost any other time since I was elected in 2005.  The issue on people’s minds is the government’s plan for the privatization of our public lands.

The government intends to convert replaceable forest licences into tree farm licences (TFL) that will effectively grant private corporations long-term, exclusive rights to publicly-owned timber.

As the critic for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, people are including me in their communications with the Minister of Forests telling him that they strongly oppose this move. And the government cannot provide a shred of evidence that any public good will come from the change.

The Minister of Forests likes to say that there is proof of benefit, and he likes to say that he is acting on the recommendation of the Timber Supply Committee. But both of these statements are categorically untrue.

A Freedom of Information request for any ministry documents that stated any public benefits from this TFL rollover scheme turned up nothing. The ministry doesn’t have a single piece of paper that states there is any public good.

And as the Deputy Chair of the Timber Supply Committee, I know exactly what the committee recommended. And our recommendations in no way align with what this government is proposing.

Over the last week, I have received more than 1,200 e-mails from British Columbians saying no to TFL rollovers.  And the emails keep coming in.

But I’m not just hearing from British Columbians.  I’m hearing from people from all over the world.  And that is where the larger issue comes in.

The path the BC government is taking us down could shake the confidence of global markets that forest products from British Columbian are coming from forests that are managed to a proper environmental standard. And many markets are not interested in buying from a jurisdiction that cannot prove that it is managing its forests sustainably.

There is still time to let the government know your position on this important issue.  Send an email to Forest.Tenures@gov.bc.ca, FLNR.min@gov.bc.ca and norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca. Make sure your voice is heard.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke SAR crews help find woman’s body around Kaslo River

The woman was on a motorcycle when it plunged into the river on June 21

RCMP identify dangerous driver from near head-on collision by Golden

Police say the extremely dangerous and illegal maneuver put multiple lives at risk

Hitchhiker with metal pipe prompts RCMP to close of Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Police respond to report of man who pointed what was believed to be a rifle at passing driver

Local Food Initiative wants public feedback for possible Garden Tour

Survey suggests some people are concerned about the RCMP, after last year’s tour

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Oliver Town Hall reopens to public as COVID-19 test comes back negative

Town Hall was closed briefly as a staff member showed multiple COVID-19 symptoms

Lake Country beachgoers reminded to maintain distance amid COVID-19

Signage, park rangers, park patrol students in place to monitor busy beaches in Central Okanagan

RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on house and at bandshell

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Most Read