Unionized forestry workers including Courtenay in series of town hall meetings

B.C.'s unionized forest workers are inviting forest communities to join them in a series of town hall meetings around the province.

  • Feb. 16, 2013 8:00 a.m.

B.C.’s unionized forest workers are inviting forest communities to join them in a series of town hall meetings around the province to address the crisis in B.C. forests.

Whether it’s the devastation caused by the mountain pine beetle or raw log exports, forest communities have been hit hard over the last decade, and it’s critical we come together to address not only the problems in our forest sector but solutions as well,” said Jim Britton, vice-president, Western region, of the Communication, Energy and Paperworker’s Union.

“Years of government staffing cuts, deregulation and mismanagement have created a crisis in B.C.’s forests,” said Darryl Walker, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU). “British Columbians deserve to know their forests are being managed sustainably and in the public interest —maintaining forest-sector jobs, while preserving ecosystems. We need to work together to demand that government invest in research, reforestation, and compliance and enforcement to ensure healthy forests today, and in the future.”

“Over the last decade, viable mills were shutdown while raw log exports grew dramatically,” added Steve Hunt, Western Canadian director of the United Steelworkers. “People in forest communities understand it’s not just about the direct jobs in the forest, or related milling and manufacturing jobs, it’s also about the indirect jobs and benefits to local communities that come from forest workers.”

Community members attending the meetings will not only have an opportunity to hear from provincial and local forestry experts, but each meeting will also engage participants in a dialogue about how we work together to draw attention the crisis and community solutions for change.

The comox Valley town hall meeting happens March 7 at 6 p.m. at the Best Western Plus westerly Hotel in Courtenay.

To register, call toll free 1-855-784-0784 or visit www.forestsforbc.ca.

— B.C. forestry unions