Protesting forestry workers block road, claiming their jobs are threatened by old-growth deferrals
I RECENTLY CHECKED the Association of BC Forest Professionals job listings and while I didn’t count them all, there are approximately 100 listed. Likely several more that aren’t listed!
And ditto for jobs in most any profession. Employers can’t find enough people to fill all the jobs available. In the Boundary area, the local nurseries—who have a variety of jobs available—must bring in many temporary foreign workers every year because no local people want the available jobs. So the Mexicans return year after year and are happy to be well-employed.
The forestry industry’s pathetic mantra is that they must be allowed to continue extirpating BC’s remaining old-growth forests or the industry will lose another 20,000 jobs—or whatever number is their favourite for that day. So what happens when the old growth is gone? No forests and no jobs for sure! That doesn’t sound like a very good deal for anyone.
A close acquaintance of mine is a woods foreman for a lower mainland logging company; he absolutely cannot find employees to do any work and he has several job openings all the time.
If any forestry-related jobs are lost, they are easily replaced as there are many jobs available in the market place; the government has already dedicated millions of dollars to retrain anybody who wants to remain gainfully employed so they can do so. And there are similarly many dollars available for those who wish to take advantage of the early-retirement opportunities.
Fred Marshall is a forester and Woodlot Licence tenure holder in the Boundary region.