Tsastilqualus Ambers, of the Ma‘Äôamtagila First Nation, adresses the crowd in front of the office of Finance Minister Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. Demonstrators demanded the provincial government protect old-growth forests. June 6, 2019

Photograph By ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association, said banning old-growth logging on Vancouver Island would close four sawmills and a pulp mill and throw thousands of people out of work.

“What are these communities going to do?” he said. “Certainly, there’s tourism, but there’s no reason that tourism can’t exist hand in hand with an active forest industry right beside it. It’s not black and white.”

In addition, Elstone said calls for a moratorium ignore all the old-growth forest already protected on Vancouver Island, in the Great Bear Rainforest and other areas.

“It’s outrageous to call for a moratorium,” he said. “It totally discounts all the work and sacrifice and investment we have done through setting aside millions of hectares across the B.C. coast.”

lkines@timescolonist.com

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