LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo’s old-growth motion doesn’t reflect realities in forestry sector

To the editor,

Monday’s vote by Nanaimo city council in favour of opposing old-growth logging is of obvious concern to the Truck Loggers Association’s membership – timber harvesting contractors and major suppliers – many of whom are directly employed and whose businesses are located in Nanaimo.

In a communication to the City of Nanaimo last week, our association offered to brief council on the many aspects and considerations related to B.C.’s working forests and perspectives on the old-growth harvesting issues. Unfortunately, we were not invited to provide such perspectives at the most recent council meeting, and we are disappointed, as an understatement, with council’s decision.

The community should be aware that a recent Council of Forest Industries report confirms that Nanaimo is one of the largest beneficiaries of forestry-related economic activity and jobs in the province. This proposed resolution will have a significant negative financial impact on this community. The community should also be aware that the potential for the forestry sector to provide sustainable forest products, sequester carbon, and tackle climate change surpasses anything else out there. The resolution brought before council was misleading and not reflective of the realities in the forestry sector.

We believe there are concrete and real solutions that we should all be collectively pursuing for the betterment of our communities and the forestry sector. The TLA routinely engages with our many municipal members on Vancouver Island to inform them of the broad forestry sector issues we all face and provide our perspective. We welcome and would appreciate an opportunity to present this same information to the Nanaimo council and its community to address this unfortunate resolution for those working in the Island’s forestry sector.

Bob Brash, executive director, Truck Loggers Association