For Immediate Release
January 13, 2022
TLA VIRTUAL SESSIONS HEAR NEED FOR GOVERNMENT RESET TO MODERNIZE FOREST POLICY
Truck Loggers Association embarking on process to provide possible solutions
Vancouver, BC – For two days this week, delegates attending the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) virtual sessions heard from a broad range of experts and organizations about the serious impacts sweeping changes will have on the forest sector, forest workers and communities. To address these impacts and seek a collaborative and collective vision, the TLA will embark on a process to find solutions to move BC’s forest sector forward, ensuring ongoing prosperity for workers and communities.
In recent months, the BC government has deferred 2.6 million hectares of old growth and passed legislation that gives Cabinet sweeping authority to redistribute tenures and unilaterally determine compensation rights of the affected parties.
Delegates to the TLA virtual sessions heard how heading down the current path will make the sector “un-investible”. They heard about the feeling of “frustration” because policies were developed with limited First Nations and forestry sector involvement, along with the devastating impact these policies will have on forest workers, resource communities and the value-added sector.
“In the coming months, the TLA will be working collaboratively with those in the BC forest sector to seek possible solutions and find common ground that a majority of British Columbians can endorse as a reasonable path to success. It will also mean having the difficult conversations with those fundamentally opposed to the forest sector, if they choose to truly engage,” continued Brash. “The process will not challenge government’s broad objectives but rather find the means within those goalposts to move the sector forward.”
Brash suggested there are fundamental starting points, including how harvesting strategies can be implemented to protect old-growth values while also protecting people. An important aspect of modernization should strengthen the diversity of log and lumber flow in the forest sector through increased reallocation to First Nations and communities. Existing rights of contractors and others should be respected to allow stability and encourage reinvestment. Brash also emphasized the need to work towards a collective vision sooner than later as the uncertainties in the sector are decidedly counterproductive.
For a number of months, the TLA has called for meaningful collaboration among all key stakeholders, including First Nations, community groups, licensees, and non-government organizations. The TLA also believes there is an opportunity for a collective vision for forestry that addresses society’s expectations of BC’s forest-management while ensuring decision-making is informed with a true understanding of the issues and the consequences.
About the Truck Loggers Association of BC:
The Truck Loggers Association of BC is the voice of more than 500 member companies across British Columbia which include independent timber harvesting contractors, phase contractors, market loggers, independent sawmills, industry suppliers and forest resource dependent communities. The TLA promotes the viability and sustainability of the BC forest industry through policy development, effective communication, and advocating for and addressing the evolving needs of its members.
Director of Communications jennifer@TLA.ca