By: The Working Forest Staff
TLA (Vancouver, BC) – Yesterday’s announcement of the Province’s long-awaited policy document entitled “Modernizing Forest Policy in British Columbia: Setting the Intention and Leading the Forest Sector Transition,” sets the stage for another opportunity by successive governments over the decades to move our sector progressively forward.
While early days in this initiative, the principles of enhancing participation and strengthening the forest sector, improving its social contract, and enhancing stewardship are admirable objectives. If the end result of working with organizations like ours and Indigenous peoples for improved forestry policies results in increased certainty for BC’s forestry workers and forest-dependent communities, while improving investment opportunities towards moving the sector forward, we can collectively be proud of this accomplishment.
Since the TLA began in 1943, we have strongly advocated on behalf of independent timber harvesting contractors for fair forest policies to support a sustainable and prosperous forest sector supporting our resource communities.
For almost eight decades, it has been the TLA’s position that diversity of tenures, timber flow, and lumber to value-added manufacturers is important for the sustainability of all stakeholders in the forest industry. In this regard, there are many elements of the Province’s intentions paper, which on the surface are worthy of everyone’s attention and discussion. Most importantly will be the absolute necessity for the government to work and consult with organizations such as ours, Indigenous peoples, and many others to arrive at a collective vision for moving the sector forward.
Additionally, and of great significance is the government’s intention to protect good jobs and the allusion to the ever-lagging process of implementing regulatory changes resulting from the Contractor Sustainability Review, which is still not in place two years after Premier Horgan made a commitment directly to BC’s forestry sector contractors. In the coming days, we look forward to a positive announcement in this regard.
The TLA is looking forward to being involved during this process to help refine the changes government wishes to implement and provide the support needed to allow our collective vision for the forest sector to succeed.