Eby takes forestry heat in stride, says community-level planning is solution

By Rob Shaw
Northern Beat
March 13, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian O’Rourke

Brian O’Rourke, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017, didn’t hold back when he was given a microphone and a chance to educate the premier of British Columbia on the harsh realities of the provincial forest industry. A forty-year veteran of the sector, around Prince George, he’s watched numerous mills shut down and hundreds of colleagues lose their jobs.  Crowded into a tiny hotel meeting room in Victoria, at a union event with the premier this week, O’Rourke gave David Eby a history lesson on forest companies that “swap log tenures like two kids in school swapping hockey cards” and hoard logs — a public resource — even when they curtail mills and lay off employees. “The other thing that really burns my ass,” he told the premier, “is when these corporations get shut down they get to keep the logs and sell them. That needs to stop.” …The premier, though, took the criticism in stride.

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