Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is The Lorax Coming To British Columbia?


British Columbia's forest industry is in big trouble.

So how have Gordon Campbell and big Rich Coleman decided to deal with it?

Well, apparently, they've decided to turn the catastrophe into an opportunity.

An opportunity to deregulate.

Gordon Hamilton has the story, albeit in "he said/she said" form, in today's VSun:

Victoria's latest round of deregulation for the ailing forest industry was welcomed as a first step by loggers Wednesday.

But the changes, the result of a 90-day review announced last January by Premier Gordon Campbell, were criticized by environmentalists and the NDP opposition who say it puts wildlife and other forest values at risk, and won't save any jobs.

Forests Minister Rich Coleman said the 28 regulatory changes -- the second streamlining process the ministry has undergone since 2001 -- are expected to improve the industry's competitive position......

{snippety doo-dah}

In a news release, the forests minister singled out three changes to save loggers time and money:
- Faster approval of cutting permits and road permits.
- Ensuring that loggers only need to submit digital files of plans.
- Dropping stumpage rates in recognition of the additional costs incurred by new ecosystem-based logging practices.....

{snippety doo-dah}

- Less focus by the forests ministry on compliance and enforcement.
- Giving the industry more of a say on future land-use decisions.
- Including economic impacts when making decisions to protect wildlife.

Maybe the time has come to call in Dr. Seuss.


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