Two Steps Backwards: Forestry “Reform”: Bill 23
by Eartha Muirhead
The Vancouver Sun, on January 29, 2022 published an article about Forest Ecologist Suzanne Simard. I am always happy to know her work is getting more publicity; especially her statement that “the first thing is, clear-cutting should be off the books going forward.” Simard has always been and still is a threat to the status quo. Last fall, government lawyers, in response to her testimony on behalf of the Fairy Creek blockades, actually claimed that Simard is not an expert on forestry. Katrine Conroy has ignored everything Simard and many other scientists have discovered about ancient forests and this becomes clear when you read the NDP’s largely unpublicized new “talk and log” Bill 23 and Bill 28. These “new” changes are a waste of paper and human potential.
Included in the article is mention of the “Forest Minister’s introducing changes to the Forest and Range Practises Act” and “a plan to defer old-growth logging on a path to protect critical old-growth habitat.” Yves Mayrand, a retired lawyer, wrote the attached critique of the latest forestry “reform.”
This is a quote from his letter to me: “I do not believe that the traditional media, which includes CBC, will have any inclination to publish anything on Bill 23, or on Bill 28 substantially amending the Forest Act (passed by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in a mere 10 days just before the Xmas recess), or anything meaningful on forestry reform. Let us face the hard facts: this BC NDP government does not give a hoot about the public interest, the only forestry legislation that government passes in warp speed is first vetted only by the forest products industry, and there is no MLA in that Legislative Assembly with a strong enough spine to rise up and question this truly non-democratic government!” If you attempt to read the Bill, have a legal dictionary by your side to help decipher the machinations of unbearable corruption.