Galileo Galilei wrote that “all truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them,” and having read the article penned by NDP MLA Norm Macdonald published in your March 9, 2011 edition I need to set the record straight. In his rhetoric he made reference to a “Do-nothing BC Liberal approach to forestry killing future jobs,” which is so far from the truth and using Macdonald’s own words; “it’s nonsense and I suspect he knows it’s nonsense”.
Since 2001 the BC liberals have invested $1.3 billion to support forestry. In British Columbia and its communities across the province. The Forestry Revitalization Plan opened access to public timber reallocating 20 per cent of the logging rights held by the largest licensees to create B.C. timber sales and to distribute volume to smaller forestry players such as First Nations, community forests and wood alots. The BC Liberals set aside $125 million in the B.C. Forestry Revitalization Trust that has assisted forestry workers and contractors affected by timber reallocation and has established the Working Roundtable on Forestry. The BC Liberals have consistently supported the Softwood Lumber Agreement which resulted in $2.4 billion returned to B.C. companies helping them remain viable and protect jobs through market downturns; an agreement that the NDP opposed all along meaning the stability we have enjoyed in this industry along with the jobs are a direct result of the BC Liberals putting into action our forestry vision. We have also created a four pronged innovative strategy designed to create more forestry jobs and stimulate investment, especially in China. Our Bioenergy Strategy provides $35 million to diversify the economies of forest-dependent communities creating new opportunities for forest companies and producing clean energy. We have created the Forestry Task Force, the BC Forest Safety Council and the independent Forestry Safety Ombudsman, all with the purpose of keeping forestry workers safe. In addition, BC Liberal policies on Old Growth Management and our consensus-based land use planning processes have established 58 parks, 143 conservatories, two ecological reserves and nine protected areas since 2001; more than any other province in Canada.
To conclude the “Galileo truth and discovery process,” I ask this question; does the above sound like the “Do-nothing BC Liberal approach to forestry,” portrayed by NDP MLA Macdonald who continues to choose a path of negativity and cynicism without providing substantive and tactical solutions to that what he criticizes. Leading with half truths or no truth is not leading and Macdonald knew all of this when he penned his words; or… maybe not… which is even more unacceptable!
President BC Liberal Columbia River-Revelstoke Riding Association 814