Raw Log Exports and the "Roundtable"

Ben Meisner gets it right in his article in Opinion 250. If this government is serious about this "Roundtable" and not just building smoke and mirrors they might do well to read Bens' article.

By Ben Meisner
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 03:45 AM

If the Forestry Round Table hopes to achieve its goal, the members might want to take a walk about in Mackenzie this Friday when then group meets there.

If ever there is a case to be made of a community hard hit which has stood up and taken its lumps, it is Mackenzie.
You don’t hear mumbling and groaning from Mackenzie, just an effort to get through the mess and get on with life.
So what are we, as a province, doing to support them in their efforts?

The province has primed the pump with $2 million but that doesn’t go far enough in ensuring that the workers, those people who make that town, get the benefit.
That should be the mandate of the Forestry round table, to make absolutely certain that forest tenure is handed out in a means that those who take the risk of living in a small community, those who go north, and those who work in the bush are the recipients of the benefits of a Crown resource.

The suggestion by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and indeed the Premier of the Province last week in an interview with Opinion250, that exporting logs has some merit is just hog wash.
It is a policy or an idea put together by people who have little idea of what makes this province go, to politicians influenced by mega corporations who stand to benefit if the policy is adopted.

The argument that "at least some people are working"namely those who harvest the logs and those who get them to the rail terminal for shipment to Asia, shows a complete lack of forestry knowledge.
Those who make the statements should know, but don’t, that harvesting of logs has become high tech. Gone are the days when it took a crew to cut, buck and, haul the logs. That can be accomplished with a small group of workers.
Now what happens after? Well let’s see, you haul the logs to the nearest container terminal, what a convenience, we have one in Prince George and also Prince Rupert and the ability to load logs along the way.
We have a railway that would be only too happy to haul logs in containers given that the back haul for the container ships has been low to nonexistent, making for a brand new bit of business.
We can then ship those logs to China to be milled with cheap labor at a facility owned by, again, a large Canadian company operating off shore, and then shipped back into Canada and the US, without any fear of a countervailing duty.
It's a win, win for the major companies, but for the guys and gals in Mackenzie and Ft St James it is the end of the line.
If the Forestry Round Table is interested in protecting our Crown resource, a resource that supposedly everyone in the province owns, they had better start off by putting raw log exports to bed.

I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion.
And I'm Gary E and I concur.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Nice blog, but not many comments yet. I just want to point out an issue with the link to david schreck. It points to an incorrect spelling of strategicthoughts. The second "t" in your link is spelled with a "g" not a "t". It needs some repair.

Gary E said...

Thankyou for stopping by anon 10:09. And thanks for the heads up on the Strategic Thoughts link. It has been repaired now.

Anonymous said...

While I mostly agree with grumpy ol Ben's comment here, I'm a big believer that action means more than words. And when the rubber hits the road, ol' Ben will support the Libs - you know, the Libs who broke their BC Rail promise, the Libs who killed the rules that said that a tree cut in an area had to be milled in that area - every time.

Being a northerner, I check out his site pretty frequently and it bugs me to no end how many times he runs the check-presentation photo ops for the three PG Liberal MLAs. His lips might be saying "dastardly government" but his eyes are saying "vote for Gordo again."