TimberWest drowns itself in flattery at watershed event

Dear editor,

When TimberWest presented itself as an ideal “corporate citizen” at Re-Think our Watershed, public relations clearly triumphed over tact.

But when they asked us to “just believe” that clear-cut “logging and drinking water can coexist”, we entered the realm of insult.

“Watersheds don’t have problems,” they said, “people and communities have problems.” Especially when we try to have things both ways at major ongoing loss to real citizens. Where TimberWest is not a corpo resident, governments easily agree with a fiscal lens that “the primary purpose of a watershed is to provide safe, clean water” – not board feet and stumpage fees.

TimberWest made outlandish claims of bringing a boon of jobs and revenue. Actually these were gutted over the past decade by widespread layoffs, automated machinery and raw log exports.

Campbell River lost 257 jobs and $5 million in tax revenue, about 10 per cent of the city’s budget, when TimberWest closed its mill there. Since 2008, their forestry sector lost at least 1,500 jobs – 10 per cent of the workforce laid off.

Courtenay’s mill closure killed 110 jobs and the cascade of instability continues. Many who “commuted” to work in Alberta – or lost jobs at Target – bear the cost of our lack of resilient local economic policies that put public interest first.

B.C. employs the fewest people per tree cut anywhere in Canada, and we provide 97 per cent of raw log exports. Ontario employs six times as many people for the same amount of trees cut.

Our industrial model with minimal processing is well known to have hurt families and watersheds across B.C.

The value of raw logs dropped 50 per cent in the last 15 years. We need an honestly sustainable approach that respects nature and provides good, stable jobs by adding value.

“Balance” isn’t just a PR buzzword; it’s an act – what actions will change?



S. Smith,



Just Posted

Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Council approved the addition of $125,000 for pre-construction work

Local musicians inducted into Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Seven local musicians have earned their spot among some of the Comox… Continue reading

North Island Hospital Comox Valley looking for funds to open fourth operating room

One of the priorities of the Comox Valley Hospital is to significantly… Continue reading

Increased accessibility an uphill battle for former Courtenay resident

Brian George wheeled himself up Ryan Road as part of his Halifax Oddesy Tour

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Big bucks for painting of small B.C. town

A 1965 painting of Ashcroft by E. J. Hughes exceeded its pre-auction estimate at a recent sale.

Column: Mother orca’s display of grief sends powerful message

The grief of this orca mother may not be visible anymore, but we must not forget.

Seven people with ties to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug bust

Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people, including drug and firearm offences

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

B.C. school’s pledge to ban sex outside of heterosexual marriage now optional for students

Community convenant of Langley’s Trinity Western University has been centre of rights debate

Better Business Bureau open for Torch Award nominations

Deadline to nominate an amazing business or employee is Aug. 31

Most Read