Green Party leader promotes sustainability of B.C.'s natural resources

By Chad Klassen
April 19, 2017 - 7:00pm

KAMLOOPS — Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is promising a more hands-on approach when it comes to the management of B.C.'s natural resources.

Speaking at Thompson Rivers University on Wednesday, Weaver focused on his party's strategies to preserve and protect the valuable commodity that is B.C. wood. 

Weaver believes the long-term thinking about B.C.'s natural resources is something that's been missing here. 

"Kamloops has a rich natural resource history that we need to preserve," Weaver said at Thompson Rivers University. "The B.C. Liberals' economic strategies, which emphasize short-term profits, corporate profits, donor profits, is threatening the long-term sustainability of our forests."

Weaver outlined a 22-point plan to promote sustainability, and that includes helping mills around the province upgrade to produce more value-added products. 

He's also vowing to restrict the export of raw logs, which he says will create more local job opportunities. 

"We recognize that raw log exports are a symptom of a struggling value-added forest industry and not the cause," noted Weaver. "That's why we'll promote innovation and encourage enhancement to increase demand for B.C.'s wood."

When asked whether his plan would help repoen some of the shutdown mills in B.C., Weaver couldn't make any promises. 

"It's a question I don't like to say that 'we're going to open 62 mills,'" he said with some hesitancy. "But I think you will see incentives, and you see that in our plan. We know that on Vancouver Island, we are logging old-growth because some of the mills there have not retooled to be able to process secondary growth. We, for example, will eliminate PST on upgrades to mills, and we can assists them in retooling, so they can accessing existing resources."

Weaver is heading back to his home base in Victoria before continuing his journey around the province. 

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