Today, the BC Government detailed its intention to defer 2.6 million hectares of old growth across British Columbia.
“The deferral process is going to jeopardize many businesses,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Hundreds of employees will be laid off due to this deferral process. Every day, businesses are making tough decisions on how to preserve their bottom line and remain profitable, and this deferral will have devastating impacts on BC’s economy, and people’s livelihoods.”
Surrey is home to many wood manufacturing companies that are significant employers, such as The Teal-Jones Group, S&R Sawmills, Pacific Lumber, Catalyst Paper, the Sundher Group, Key West Forest Products and Riverside Forest Products to name a few. Workers and businesses are dependent on a healthy forestry sector.
The Province is requesting that First Nations indicate within the next 30 days whether or not they support the deferrals, require further engagement to incorporate local and Indigenous knowledge, or would prefer to discuss deferrals through existing treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
“We have heard from experts that this consultation process with First Nations is not effective, and a timeline of 30 days does not respect the capacity and level of work required to provide a response.”
The Surrey Board of Trade calls on the BC Government to commit to a fact-based, balanced, and inclusive approach, including meaningful engagement with Indigenous Nations, forest professionals and other local experts, before proceeding with decisions that could irreparably harm workers, companies and communities across our province.
Read the BC news release https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FLNRO0068-002088
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, firstname.lastname@example.org