I am really amazed that Norm Macdonald is criticizing the Liberal government about forestry policy when the NDP was in power at the time that chose to ignore the threat of the Pine Beetle in the Chilcoten Forest District.
The NDP at the time were told by the ecologists and the foresters that there was only two serious ways of removing the threat to the economy and the ecology of the forest — burn it or log it.
Remember, this was the time when the supposed environmentalists and “greenies” were crying copious quantities of tears over the supposed “Bowron Lake Clear Cut ” ( BLCC ) that can be seen from space. Remember that mantra? It is now a viable working forest again by the way.
This BLCC was an attempt by the Social Credit government to eradicate the first infestation of pine beetle to BC ‘s forests. Log it, plant it, stop the spread.
The entomologists said, “Don’t worry, – 40° F weather for a two-week period will kill the pine beetle. So between the NDP’s worry about how the greenies would view “log it and plant it ” on a larger scale than the BLCC and the bug guys saying don’t worry be happy, the weather will kill the bugs, they all lost sight of the fact that they had not seen sustained – 40° F weather for decades at that time and still have not.
So… due to the inaction for the above reasons and by the NDP at the time, we now have a province stripped of viable economic trees, mills being shut down, possibly another 10 mills to go down yet throughout the Chilcotin, and north country, town sites vacated while workers and families relocate from resource towns to where ever they can earn a living, Norm is calling down our government for trying to set up systemic systems to help change the focus of economic activity in these devastated areas.
I realize the NDP like knee-jerk reactions of spending money to make a problem go away, but the BC Liberals prefer setting systems in place that work. The systems don’t start immediately, they have to be well thought out, they have to monitored and they have to be encouraged and nurtured so that private industry can and will run the industries and systems.
It is not the government’s place to be in business. That has been proven time and again just by looking at the NDP record of business ownership and financial responsibility in our province.
No. The BC Libs will not do a knee-jerk reaction to such a large and systemic problem. We will look for alternative methodologies for providing power, employment and services to the folks here in the valleys.
But unlike the NDP, the BC Libs are working through a changing and living plan that is said to be a living document. Don’t get me wrong here folks a lot of money is spent on so many things in the province, that we now have one of the largest single budgets in history.
It is not a fast approach. It is not a quick fix solution by any stretch of the imagination. Setting systems and industries in place never is fast. Employment and jobs and industry and power all take money and time. Without both, we would simply be repeating the insanity of the previous NDP governments.
We cannot go there again and that is why there are so many new and innovative solutions being studied, planned and placed in service for the province.
I would call out to Norm and the NDP to get in sync with the needs of the province and start helping find solutions rather than political footballs to try and make cheap points.
The province needs new and workable ideas to help change in some degree, the direction of our province’s economy. New hospitals, universities, work collages have all been implemented.
What do you as the public see as some type of solutions for the entire province? I would like to hear them. Victoria would like to hear them.
Call me at 250-342-1524. I’ll give you the e-mail address on request.
David R. Pacey is president of the BC Liberals in the riding of Columbia River-Revelstoke