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October 28, 2017 3:38 am

Call for Feds to Deliver Promised Funding

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 @ 3:44 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Mayor and Council for Prince George have voted in favour of a resolution to have the Federal Government live up to a promise made about financial support to mitigate the impact of the Mountain Pine beetle.

The resolution will be presented to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and calls for Ottawa to pay up the $800 million dollars it promised over the next 8 years.

“The government made a commitment, and we would like to have it flowing through the north somehow” said Councillor Albert Koehler.

“Up to 33% of all employment in Prince George is related to wood and wood business, which means we have to pay attention to that” says Koehler who says the reductions in the annual allowable cut have already had an impact with mill closures, and further reductions could have more negative impacts throughout the region “It will affect everybody somehow.”

The call comes as funding for Beetle Action Coalitions is about to come to an end.

The resolution reads as follows:

“Resolved: that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities immediately and publicly call on the Government of Canada to fulfill its commitment to invest $800 million in targeted mitigation programs in the region during the next eight years; and urge that such investments occur in consultation with the Province, First Nations and local governments.”

“This is an election  year so I think we have an opportunity to have significant  impact” said Councillor Garth Frizzell.

Back in 2006, leading into a Federal election, the Harper Conservatives  promised a billion dollars over 10 years to battle the  impact of the mountain pine beetle.  Two  installments were made….but the balance  remains.

In addition to the  resolution, Mayor Lynn Hall says he will write a letter on behalf of  Mayor  and Council to  Member of Parliament  Bob Zimmer.

This same resolution has been passed by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.


Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson was on Bloomberg yesterday talking to the New York folks about the pine beetle effects on Quesnel.

Bob was saying the people of Quesnel feel they are getting a raw deal when companies like West Fraser used crown resources and local talent and labor over the years to build the company, and now with the beetle kill wind down they fear West Fraser will leave them twisting in the wind as West Fraser relocates their operations to places like Alberta and the US where they don’t have pine beetle issues.

The gist of the report was that mill towns in the BC interior are in for a hard landing from the beetle kill, and that many companies are already in the process of relocating operations to American mills that they are acquiring in take over bids.

I view the election ploy by Harper in his Billion dollar pine beetle mitigation fund to be a betrayal of those that put their vote with him.

Its a form of political adultery when a politician makes a promise they have no intent on keeping, so long as they can get the votes on election day. It shows a real lack of character that brings into question everything else they claim to stand for.

Any money for pine beetle mitigation I think should not be tied to existing operation where they can just be used as a sort of moving fund paid for by the tax payer.

Funding should be for things like growing market potential through further diversification of the wood fiber that is available.

I think a big one should be cooking charcoal and that it should be largely funded by carbon transfer dollars with some seed money from a pine beetle mitigation fund. The amount of deforestation for cooking charcoal is the number one source for lost habitat in the world and a major cause of deforestation. Subsidizing somehow a better system where we use dead pine trees for this the number one source of cooking fuel in the world makes sense… rather than using far more valuable palm trees, coconut trees, and tropical rain forests as takes place now.

For most of the world they don’t have access to natural gas infrastructure or affordable electricity for cooking.

But there are many other areas that could use seed money that would be able to further split the process into more value added products that further insulates the industry through its many diverse end products. The pellet industry, or the finger joiner industry are fine examples of diversity through further split off products in the existing industry.

All very good points. We need to focus on the value added industry for all natural resources in our provinces. Pre-manufactured home companies should be all over the place, the pellet industry has been a fine example of value added industry to take advantage of wood waste. Mining and gas industry would be wise to follow suit as well.
I wonder if there is possible a way to utilize the left overs from forest fires? Seems to be a large abundance of material there that could be used. It is unfortunate that the sawmill industry is on shaky ground, as this has been a staple industry for our province. It is a renewable resource, and I dont believe we are doing enough to help it along. Large conglomerates are not invested enough to take the initiative, they will operate at full capacity until the resource dwindles and then pack up and move on leaving the region with what is left behind. Once they are long gone, it will become obvious that the govt did not require them to do enough to ensure the future of the forests. Bug kill only served to speed up the inevitable.
I grew up in the forest industry. 20 yrs working in the bush, I witnessed the end of the true heyday of forestry which is now past. I firmly believe that the industry can live on, but value added must become a main focus. The age of the “super mill” must be replaced by diversity while we still have viable stands of forests. Towns such as Williams Lake (for example) are going to be hardest hit first. They already have to haul wood from distances that would have previously been unthinkable in order to keep the few mills supplied, which are left in operation. Other former mill towns are already dried up or are on their way there.
Harper needs to come good on the promise, but that money (should it come) needs to be applied correctly.

These billion dollars over ten year promises (like the Cariboo Connector four laned over fifty years) are little to no meat on the bone, but great for election ammunition! Voters ought to know by now that politicians rely on voter amnesia in order to get way with only partially keeping their committments or not keeping them at all once elected!

It was reported thet Harper left tens of millions of spending for veterans unspent and/or squirreled away to be used for some other so-called more important projects.

What about other Harper underfunding of arts, scientific research and many other issues?

“Two installments were made….but the balance remains.”

Our fault for not keeping an eye on this and for not holding his feet to the fire, imho.

Write a letter to Bob . That’s funny . He’s supposed to be looking after his riding and he is , if you’re into cheap guns . Money promised ? Not so much .

Taking away all beetle kill and left overs from forrest fires what is left for nutrients for regrowth?

Simpson has the right approach. Our Mayor and Council are far too soft. The feds should have been called to task some time ago.

I want to know what the $100 million per year for the first two years was used for. If it was used for useless programs and projects which had no impact, I would agree with the Feds and say that the province and municipalities are not making any significant change.

I also wonder if the feds have been playing the shell game and providing funds with the impression that it is part of the $100million/year promise, but was used for projects the feds wanted to give money to and not what the local governments in BC in conjunction with the Province had in mind.

Why does anyone want to go through FCM?? Go direct to the people that provide the money. This is l money that goes to the province that may not have been delivered. Put the heat on the province. Put the heat on Shirley Bond, she is now the Jobs lady, so right up her ally as far as I can tell.

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