Friday, January 14, 2005

NAFTA working against us

Just when we Canadians are initiating ANOTHER challenge to the US duties on softwood lumber, the Liberals sign a new deal to export more raw logs to the USA for another SEVEN years!
Every raw log sent out of this provence hurts another British Columbia family a little more. We have been closing mills in BC for years. A Weyerheiser executive had the gaul to comment on TV that they had to close 3 more mills IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST to save other mills. Understanding that Weyerheiser is an AMERICAN company operating in BC, you must translate his comment to say that closing three more BRITISH COLUMBIA mills will save another WASHINGTON State mill. Of course, keeping that Washington State employee happy and warm and content in his job. This is what happens with the so called Free Trade agreement. Even CANADA and BC CHEAT to accomodate American business. They simply scrape a little bark off our BC raw logs and call it lumber! So the actual raw log export figure is never accurate to begin with. What a joke. All designed of course, to prevent a public outcry.
WHEN are we going to start advantaging ourselves and our forestry industry and go elsewhere to sell our BC products? Probably not soon. As long as American forestry companies controll our BC forests, it is not in their interests to work for British Columbia families. They don't want us to produce lumber when they can use OUR logs to make and export it themselves. This is the 'value added' that we are losing for the BC Economy. All with the tacit approval of the BC Liberals.
China is the huge emerging market. They have little use for raw logs but they do have a need for finished housing products, and even finished component houses! We are seeing the results of our poor planning and acceptance of phoney deals! NAFTA being the sorest point of all. We should start right now to take back our forestry industry and invest in OURSELVES.
What has Sweden done with their forest industry? Give it all away to others? No, you have IKEA stores around the world selling the results of careful planning and promotion of their own designs. Their 'value added' products. Perpetuating the Swedish forest industry, and they have NO forests like we do! How do you feel about a 700 year old tree going to make pulp for rag newspapers? Do you believe that Brazilian balsa-type wood grown in 5 years is as good as BC Douglas fir? No way!
There is no reason BC finished products could not be exported around the world. All we have to do is have confidence in ourselves, INVEST in ourselves, and go for it. It wouldn't be quick, it wouldn't be easy, and it wouldn't be cheap, but we'd emerge as controlling our own market products instead of watching others over the fence.
Our governments should quit worrying about outsiders setting the rules and start working for British Columbians and their futures. It's never too late to help your own family.

"BC intends to lead in the creation of sustainable environmental stewardship. The Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection will ensure environmental protection and prudence are of the highest standards."
Premier Gordon Campbell,
Cabinet Swearing In, June 5, 2001

once a liar, always a liar

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:31 am

    Don't expect Campbell and his lackies to give a shit about BC people. He's in it for his rich friends and American buddies. You know who to vote for in May.


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