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

Trial of Surrey man accused in West Kelowna murder moving forward

Tejwant Danjou’s application to have his impromptu guilty plea removed was accepted by the court

Notorious South Surrey fugitive captured in California to face murder trial in Canada

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Dubai-based company buys Fraser Surrey Docks

Company also has ports and terminals in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert

Surrey Police to work with integrated teams during transition from RCMP

Terry Waterhouse says new police force will ‘collaborate’ with RCMP to maintain continuity of investigations

Solicitor General has ‘no illusions’ about acrimony over Surrey’s police transition

Farnworth wants report released to public ‘a week this coming Tuesday’

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Police renew appeal in help finding missing Maple Ridge woman after vehicle found

Ridge Meadows RCMP released a new photo showing the missing woman walking east on Dewdney Trunk Road

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

Most Read