Trasolini uses first question period appearance to raise raw log issue
VICTORIA – Raw log exports are keeping a Port Moody sawmill from operating at full capacity, says Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Joe Trasolini.
Trasolini, who was elected April 19, and officially sworn in as an MLA on May 9, raised the issue in his first question in the B.C. Legislature Monday afternoon.
“For years, Flavelle ran two shifts per day, employing 60 workers,” said Trasolini in the legislature. “Now, they’re down to a single shift, and even that’s not consistent.
“Why, Mr. Speaker? Lack of fiber. The forest minster is actively encouraging the export of raw logs, yet a mill in my community can’t get wood to keep workers employed.”
In 2011, more than 5.5 million cubic metres of raw logs were exported; data released Thursday show that the 2012 exports are on pace to match that number this year.
Since the Liberals took office in 2001, more than 75 mills have shut down in British Columbia and more than 35,000 jobs have vanished from the forest industry. Raw logs are one component of that Liberal forest failure.
Adrian Dix and the New Democrats believe that B.C. logs should support B.C. jobs as part of a forest strategy that respects First Nations, environmental and local needs.
Text of the exchange between Trasolini and Forest Minister Steve Thomson is here.
A video of the exchange is available here.