'The gradual elimination of jobs means proper resource management will not occur.' - Darryl Walker.
Vancouver (13 Jan. 2010) - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is calling on the province to adopt climate change actions outlined in Managing BC's Forests for a Cooler Planet, a report from the Climate Justice Project of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The CCPA report makes 10 recommendations, including an appeal for increased forest conservation, an end to unacceptably high wood waste at logging operations and a commitment to a 'no net' deforestation policy. The report comes amid plans for deep cuts to the ministry of forests - cuts that could mean forest companies being subjected to fewer audits.
BCGEU members perform a variety of duties in the management and enforcement of forest regulations. The duties include conducting audits, inspections and surveys, monitoring the annual allowable cut, detecting and managing disease and insects and ensuring forest companies comply with replanting obligations.
The B.C. government's September 2009 budget saw the elimination of 16 BCGEU jobs in the ministry of forests. At the same time workers were told the ministry's staff count would be reduced by 14% over the next few years.
"If we don't have foresters on the ground, we have no way of knowing whether conservation and reforestation guidelines are being followed," says Darryl Walker, BCGEU president. "The gradual elimination of jobs means proper resource management will not occur. Forest companies will be left to monitor themselves."
The BCGEU is a co-publisher of the Managing BC's Forests for a Cooler Planet report and a partner in the CCPA's Climate Justice Project, a multi-year initiative examining climate change through a social justice lens.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
Download: Managing BC's Forests for a Cooler Planet