We Won! Privatization of BC’s public forestlands through Bill 8 defeated
Section 24 of Bill 8, the section that would have permitted rollover from Timber Supply Area to Tree Farm License at a minister’s discretion, was deleted before Bill 8 was tabled, as we requested. This effectively ended the stealth quasi-privatization of all of BC’s remaining public forestlands. Thank you to the thousands of British Columbians who emailed, phoned, tweeted, signed the Avaaz campaign letter, reblogged on tumblr & everywhere else, shared on Facebook and told their friends. We have learned that our tide of citizen opposition on this issue (BC-wide forest policy) is unprecedented at least in the last ten years. It was definitely a factor in the turning of the tide. Thanks to each and every one of you.
Commons BC’s statement:
The people of British Columbia have won one very important battle to keep control of their forests from enclosure of the commons by corporations.
But this is just a start. British Columbians need new laws: A Sustainability Act to protect water, air, soil and biodiversity and new resource-use laws.
In particular we need to salvage a deteriorating international reputation for forest practices. We need new forest law that ensures sustainability of renewable resources and of the communities that depend on them.
Commons BC contributors and friends working on this campaign for many many months are Anthony Britneff (RPF ret.) and Vicky Husband (environmentalist, O.C, O.B.C.). Dave Leversee, GIS mapper, provided us with beautiful maps. We would also like to thank writer and journalist Ben Parfitt for his excellent opinion piece, and many other involved volunteer scientists, foresters, policy experts and citizens. Ken Wu and everyone at the Ancient Forest Alliance made a major impact, and Independent Cariboo MLA Bob Simpson was absolutely instrumental in raising the issue and arguing for the removal of Section 24 (he is now rightly calling for a public inquiry into forest policy). Commons BC’s Bill 8 strategic communications/online campaign is run by Lindsay Brown. Commons BC is grateful for communications help from Brad Cran, CEO of EcoTaxFile along with thousands of individuals who spread the word. Thanks all!
Larger image of map here.