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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

RUSTAD -- BC's forest industry is struggling. Is it too great an ask for governments to set aside an area for a working-forests

The following, are the remarks of Nechako Lakes MLA, and BC Liberal Forestry Critic, John Rustad ... they were made this morning in the BC Legislature.  Please note, this is the initial draft transcript:

(Standing Order 25B)


J. Rustad: B.C.'s forest sector workers are proud what they do. They like to get up in the morning and work a hard but fulfilling day. More than 120,000 men and women across this province depend directly or indirectly on a healthy forest sector. More than 140 communities depend on a vibrant, competitive forest industry. Forestry feeds these families. Forestry is the backbone of these communities and of my riding of Nechako Lakes.

B.C.'s forest sector has driven technological development. It has opened areas for recreation, hunting, exploration and so much more. It supports agriculture and countless small businesses. Forestry is a foundational industry to the economic health of B.C. and to the quality of life we all enjoy.

Today thousands of these hard-working men and women, along with their families, will make their way to Victoria. They're here not to shut down anything, but they're here to raise their voice. These people are simply asking that the land base they work on is there for them and their children.

More than 15 percent of this great province is already protected through parks. Significant protections have been put in place through the Great Bear Rainforest and other initiatives to ensure a balanced environment while supporting a robust forest sector.

Is it too great an ask for governments to set aside an area for a working-forests?

Forestry is the most renewable industry on the planet. It gives us carbon-friendly building material. It provides with us a wide range of recyclable products. Most importantly, it establishes new trees that are the key to sequestering carbon and supporting our future. 
B.C.'s forest industry is struggling.

It needs our support and people to understand its important role in our society. It needs to be competitive, it needs markets, and it needs to receive the recognition it deserves.

The people we'll see today are raising their voices. It is not a complex ask. It is not a political ask. But it is an ask in desperation, as people are afraid for their future.

Who will be listening to them?

Will there be action?


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