Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald (NDP)

MLA Macdonald: Auditor General’s report says government putting future of forest industry at risk

The NDP Opposition critic for the forests ministry says a new auditor's report condemns the government's practises.

MLA Report, by Norm Macdonald

Earlier this month, the Auditor General for British Columbia released a report on the state of timber management by the Minister of Forests. By any measure, the report is a scathing indictment of the ministry and proof that the continuous funding cuts made by 11 years of BC Liberal government have left a once proud Forest Service in disarray.

The Ministry’s objectives for timber management are very broad, as they should be. The ministry is expected to encourage maximum productivity of the forests, to manage forest resources for both immediate and long-term economic and social benefit, and to plan the use of the forests for multiple values such as wildlife, water, and outdoor recreation.

In this area, we know just how important the forest lands are. We rely on healthy forests for our economy and our lifestyle. And we depend on the Minister of Forests to be a good steward of this resource for the survival of our communities.

But instead of taking this responsibility seriously, the BC Liberals have systematically gutted the Forest Service. Each budget year rolls out deeper and deeper cuts, laying off experienced professional staff and severely reducing the Ministry’s ability to fulfill its purpose.

The Auditor General’s report states that the ministry does not have clearly defined timber objectives and therefore cannot ensure that its management practices are effective. The report states that existing management practices are insufficient to protect us against declining timber supply and reduced species diversity.  And the report states that the ministry does not appropriately monitor and report its timber results against its timber objectives.

This description of the problem is couched in fairly gentle language, but one Feb., 17 headline was less diplomatic in its characterization of the report’s findings. It declared: ‘B.C. government killing forest industry.’

The Auditor General laid out six recommendations for action to begin to repair the damage that has been done so far, but the Minister of Forests is continuing to act like nothing is wrong. This response is simply not good enough.

As the Opposition critic for Forests, I am committed to doing everything I can to push the Minister of Forests to take appropriate action. I would encourage you to join me by sending an email today to FLNR.minister@gov.bc.ca asking Minister Thomson to put forward meaningful and specific action plans to immediately implement all of the Auditor General’s recommendations.

Healthy forests are critical for our economic, recreational and environmental well-being. We all need to do our part to protect this most valuable asset.

Norm Macdonald (NDP) is the MLA for Columbia River – Revelstoke and serves as official Opposition critic for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Just Posted

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Highway conditions less than ideal this morning

Limited visibility, standing water, slippery sections: DriveBC report

From high schooler to new business owner

She may only be 19-years-old, but Zoe Simard already has a successful business.

Todd Stone campaigns in Cranbrook

BC Liberal leadership hopeful makes pitch to local supporters.

The Rockets winless streak continues on

The Golden Rockets continued their 19 game winless streak, dropping both games this past weekend.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Whistler venues could see 2026 Olympic action

Calgary is looking to cut down on costs

Most Read