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

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

MLA Clovechok urging government to explain fluctuating prices

He has sent a letter to minister of energy

Rotary producing hand sanitizer for local businesses

Rotarians Rebecca Kolbenson and Jeff Dolinsky have headed up the new Infection Control Committee

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

MP Morrison ‘disappointed’ in six-week delay for wage subsidy support

Kootenay-Columbia MP says small businesses and employees need financial help now

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read