A series of meetings on forestry, organized by the Stand Up for the North Committee, are scheduled for mid-March in Prince George, Mackenzie, Quesnel and Williams Lake.
Called ‘Stand up for our jobs, forests and communities, softwood lumber agreement, trade, and the future of forestry in B.C.’ the meetings are an examination of fate of forest sector in the North.
The purpose of these meetings is to have community discussion at a time when northern “jobs, forests and communities are facing threats from mill closures, lack of forest oversight, runaway forest companies, timber shortages, ramped up raw log exports, an unreliable U.S. export market and other problems,” according to a Stand up for the North press release.
A major focus of the discussion will be how we can move things forward so that the economy is more diversified. “Added value stays right here in Canada where it is produced, and workers, communities, First Nations, and small and medium companies/contractors have more say and more control over the future of forestry in B.C.,” states the release
Ben Parfitt, forestry analyst for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives will be the the keynote speaker. Other speakers will include the Stand Up for the North Committee, indigenous representatives, and forestry union representatives.
The Prince George meeting will be March 13 in room 1-306 of the College of New Caledonia at 7:30 p.m. The Mackenzie meeting will be March 14 at the Mackenzie Recreation Centre. The group will be at the Arts and Recreation Centre in Quesnel on Wednesday, March 15 and at the Central Cariboo Arts and Cultural Centre in Williams Lake on Thursday, March 16.