“Growing up in small-town Vancouver Island, I never met anyone who agreed with raw log exports. Even my most conservative, pro-extraction relatives froth with anger at the mere mention of this practice.”
- Torrance Coste
The following is from Northern Insight/Perceptivity - March 14, 2012
In the last year, the Pacific Northwest (BC, WA, OR) exported well more than $1 billion worth of raw softwood logs to China. Shipments for 2011 were more than in the preceding five years combined.
Increased demand for logs might be great for the logging industry, but it results in closures and layoffs at sawmills and other wood processing facilities.
A few corporations do well harvesting logs in British Columbia but, without subsequent processing, many service and supply businesses that serve the industry are starving. We are not merely shipping logs to China; we are exporting jobs that ensured our own prosperity.
BC government policy once allowed only for export of logs surplus to local needs. They still make the claim but, from the time Gordon Campbell's Liberals took power in 2001, raw log exports soared.
Political and economic pressures prevent BC mills from interfering with overseas shipments. One of the province's largest sawmill operators told a public meeting that he was pressured to NOT bid on logs slated for export even though his mills were critically short of fibre.
BC sends trade missions to China to sell more unprocessed logs while people in small communities all over the province witness the closure of sawmills and other wood manufacturers.
When the last BC mill closes, will we be able to afford finished lumber to build our homes? Actually, the plutocracy has an answer for that: "Home ownership is an unrealistic dream of today's young people."
See much more on raw log exports (and many other things of interest to British Columbians and other concerned Canadians) at the Northern Insight/Perceptivity Blog lovingly researched and written by super-citizen Norm Farrell.
Read Terrance Coste's recent article concerning BC's troubling raw log export addiction on the Tyee website.