The workers are concerned that the practice could threaten the future of the region’s forestry industry. Those calling for the ban on the activity marched from the Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers of Canada (PPWC) union hall to the offices of Western Forest Products, which is responsible for some of the raw log exports.
One former worker who is campaigning against the practice, Don Robertson, said, "This industry has been almost destroyed due to raw log exports. I think all of our mills should be running and doing all the processing here so we can keep the jobs in B.C."
Peter Collins, an analyst at FRA, a research and analysis consultancy that promotes sustainable approaches to forestry around the world, said, “It’s vital that the Canadian Government takes measures to safeguard the future of the British Colombian forestry industry for generations to come.”
He added, “FRA is backing the workers all the way on this issue - the processing of the timber needs to be done in Canada, rather than outsourced to China to ensure forestry workers have jobs to do.”
FRA pointed to the concerning figures that show log exports increasing by 50 per cent last year alone, which by itself is not necessarily a negative thing, but it could be more positive if the processing work remained in Canada.
The president of the PPWC union, Arnold Bercov, said that policymakers need to take a “good hard look” at the likely repercussions if the practice of exporting raw logs for processing in China is not banned or at least reduced.
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Forestry Research Associates is a research and advisory consultancy that focuses on forestry management, sustainability issues and forestry investment around the globe.
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