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

Residents around Sidney’s Reay Creek Pond welcome federal remediation efforts

It is not clear yet whether Sidney will renovate nearby dam at the same time

Camp fun still offered in Greater Victoria

Easter Seals offers day camp options to replace cancelled overnight camps

Public to weigh in on Colwood Royal Bay development Monday

Application to rezone lands north of Latoria Boulevard submitted to council

Loss of UVic dog park deals a blow to socially anxious pets

Owners of non-socialized dogs seek safe space following closure of Cedar Hill Corner

Swim advisory issued at Cadboro Bay beach due to high bacteria levels

Island Health advises against water activities, swimming

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read