Logging trucks gather from around the B.C. Interior to head to downtown Vancouver, Sept. 27, 2019. (B.C. Logging Convoy/Facebook)

B.C. legislature braces for next protest: a budget-day forest industry rally

Logging truck convoy returning with ‘working forest’ petition

Logging trucks are assembling for their third rally in six months Tuesday, this time heading for the B.C. legislature as politicians prepare for the NDP government budget.

Organized through a Facebook group called B.C. Forestry Alliance, the laid-off workers and contractors rolled more than 100 logging trucks into downtown Vancouver last September to send a message to Premier John Horgan at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention. Now they’re calling for another run to Victoria to deliver a petition calling for “working forest” designation along with growing parks and protected areas.

“We see a need to defend the working land base that is being eroded at an alarming and unsustainable rate, the invitation states. “Come to the B.C. Communities Forestry Rally and show your support – please wear your high-vis shirts and vests!”

Laid-off forest contractors and mill workers from Vancouver Island also converged on the legislature Dec. 11, calling for an end to the long-running strike against Western Forest Products that finally led to a union vote on a tentative agreement this week. Another issue driving political action is NDP government changes to logging rules to force more processing of Crown land timber.

Their rallies have been law-abiding, with workers describing the impact of a province-wide slump in B.C.’s core traditional industry. In both cases, industry representatives got private meetings with Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and his senior officials.

RELATED: ‘Working forest’ petition grows on North Island

VIDEO: Logging truck convoy heads into downtown Vancouver

Finance Minister Carole James is to deliver her third full budget on Tuesday, with a three-year revenue forecast for Crown timber, natural gas and other natural resources. Personal income taxes are expected to rise as B.C. ramps up the Coastal Gaslink pipeline project, and the federally-owned Trans Mountain oil pipeline gets its twinning project underway.

Coastal Gaslink was the stated goal of Tuesday’s legislature protest, which turned ugly and was denounced by Horgan and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. A six-day tent camp was set up first, with demands to stop the RCMP from enforcing a court order against supporters of a group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who reject Canadian jurisdiction.

B.C. legislature Speaker Darryl Plecas obtained a rare court order including an enforcement order Thursday, to prevent the blockade thrown up around the building Tuesday in an effort to stop the Horgan government’s throne speech from being delivered. Victoria Police are investigating reports of assault by the mostly student crowd that turned away MLAs, staff and journalists, in some cases spitting or screaming obscenities as they demanded a halt to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline across northern B.C.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP discuss reconciliation with First Nations

The RCMP “want to be emotionally respectful of the past while still trying to uphold the laws.”

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

Claims already being staked after GeoScience BC report released

In the first 15 days following the report, a total of 34 new claims were staked.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Waulkwass River

A kingfisher and some trumpeter swans came by close enough to get a few shots.

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also lead police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

COLUMN: Forestry no longer close to top of B.C.’s economy

Our reactions to a forestry downturn reflect the past, not the present

Caught on camera: Police release video of man who allegedly stole seaplane in Vancouver

Police say the man broke into the Harbour Air terminal and then got into one of the seaplanes in the harbour

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning northern B.C. pipeline

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

Fake meat and a latte? Starbucks adds Beyond Meat in Canada

The Seattle roaster has talked about introducing plant-based patties in the U.S., but has yet to do so

Most Read