Second in our BC Liberals’ Dirty Dozen Donations series
The big logging companies have largely flown under the radar of the BC Liberals’ donations scandals. After all that negative attention in the 1990’s, they are probably happy that the fossil fuel industry, developers, and mining companies (hello Mt. Polley!) have dominated the media lately.
But, companies like West Fraser ($990,000), Canfor ($852,000) and Interfor ($720,000) still rank up there with the biggest corporate donors to the BC Liberals, and they get their money worth in return!
An example: when the two biggest donors – West Fraser and Canfor “accidentally” logged almost a million cubic metres of healthy public forests when they were supposed to be going after beetle wood, the BC Liberals simply shrugged their shoulders and levied zero penalties.
The BC Liberals not only gutted BC forest regulations, but also restricted the power of government officials to intervene with bad logging on public land. The independent Forest Practices Board stated that “situations arise where forestry development was putting local environmental and community values at risk, yet district managers could do little to affect the development and protect the public interest.”
Major BC Liberal donor Canfor was recently given permission to log southern caribou habitat, despite clear evidence that the species is being driven to extinction.
Perhaps most controversial is that under the BC Liberals, raw log exports from BC are now at their highest level ever. Coastal industry donors in particular are starving local mills and costing BC thousands of potential jobs that would exist by processing logs at home. Instead, they are profiting by selling raw logs to China.
Communities around BC are struggling to keep mills open as the big BC Liberal donors that control most of the “public” timber supply ship logs over increasing distances to far away mills.
All major BC political parties other than the BC Liberals have pledged to ban corporate, union, and foreign donations. Vote for change on May 9.
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Other items in this series: