Bearing the Costs of the Forest Give Away

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COMMUNITIES BEAR THE COST OF FOREST LAND SELL-OFF
by BC NDP
Communities will bear the true cost of the Campbell government’s sell-off of private forest lands, say the New Democrats.

  • “This week, we saw public outrage over the potential for old growth logging in Cameron Canyon,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Alberni-Qualicum. “And in Port Alberni, there was great public concern about a mudslide, suspected to have been caused by nearby logging.
  • “In both cases, the buck stops with the Campbell government. They changed the law and removed these lands from a Tree Farm Licence, eliminating public oversight and reducing environmental protection. And they did it without consulting communities, who are left to deal with the aftermath,” said Fraser.
 
QUALICUM BEACH — In July 2004, the Ministry of Forests authorized the removal of 70,300 hectares of private lands from Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 44, without public consultation or compensation. The lands were then sold to Island Timberlands in 2005, which last week spun off its timber assets to an offshore operation in Bermuda.


Fraser expressed his concern about the impact of the move on communities. “What happens if the company is found liable for damages to civic assets like the Port Alberni watershed? Would they be exempt from civil suit, now that their operations are offshore?”


  • “British Columbians have lost confidence in the Campbell government’s ability to manage our forests,” said Bob Simpson, NDP Forests and Range critic. “They just can’t trust the B.C. Liberals to put the public interest ahead of forest companies.”


Fraser vowed to continue raising his concerns about the Campbell government’s sell-off of private forest lands in the Alberni-Qualicum region.






Debra Toporowski
Constituency Assistant for Doug Routley, MLA
Cowichan-Ladysmith
273 Trunk rd
PO Box 659
Duncan,BC
250-746-8770
1-877-715-0127
Fax 250-715-0139
www.dougroutley.ca


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For Immediate Release
Jan. 18, 2008

 

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