A person reading our local newspapers or watching local TV news would be hard pressed to find anything that isn`t Olympics related but trust me, there is news out there, bad news, bad news for BC.....I hope your ready, ready to move to a new promised land!
I hope your basking in the glow of Canadian pride, enjoy it, soak it up, 17 days of a lifetime, you know friends, I start writing these stories not knowing where I am going with them, I have a few ideas about what I want to write about but sometimes,......Sometimes while writing something pops into my head, today,this story the same thing has happened, I want to and I am going to write about the disaster in BCs forestry industry but there is a 5 word line above that I wrote and when the words appeared on the page it caused me to pause, no that`s not quite true, it actually caused me to come to a complete stop.
And those 5 words are.....17 days in a lifetime.
20 minutes later after musing about 17 days in a lifetime.....You see folks I won`t remember that mogul run by next week, I won`t be talking about the opening ceremonies with friends, I won`t be chanting "go Canada go" two weeks from now, 25,550 days, that`s how many days I will have lived if I make it to 70 years of age, the Gordon Campbell Government stopped performing it`s duty to the public several years ago, in fact many would say this Government stopped performing it`s public duty 8 years ago.
The entire Province has been neglected because of those 17 days, massive cuts to everything over those 17 days, and more massive cuts will be announced by the Campbell Government 2 days after these 17 days in a lifetime.
Those days will be gone, the bill, the bill for those 17 days of a lifetime will linger for at least 7000 days...Yikes, forestry, as you know the Eurocan mill has now closed in Kitimat, over 500 jobs gone forever, a deathblow to that town, small town BC is bleeding jobs, there was a mill in Castlegar that I read about where the employees took a 25% cut in wages only to be laid off promptly after the wage concession, mills throughout BC have refused to pay their tax bill, I was reading a story this morning about the Coulson mills in Port Alberni, they are shutting down indefinitely next week, the owner of the mill is pondering getting into the ultra cheap lumber milling game, what is that, well as you know Pat bell has been crowing about exports of lumber to China but, the Cants and raw logs and cheap 2X4s made out of low value bean poles going to China isn`t lucrative, in fact it`s a losing proposition, the owner of the Coulson mills has asked the workers to take a 30% wage cut, the owner of the mill has also stated that there are no guarantees, he has suggested having a 6 month trial period and then re-assess...Of course this has only been talk, the fact is the mill is closing next week and the jobs are gone.
Friends, I have seen the movie before, it started many years ago with almost all electronic manufacturing moving to Asia all in the pursuit of cheap/slave labour, the manufacturing of basic goods slowly moved to Asian labour markets, housewares, clothing, shoes, even Starbuck`s coffee cups are made in China, the USA is reeling from job losses that aren`t coming back, cheap labour from all over the world is killing off the once great north American dream, here is an example I like to use, 10 years ago in California the the average wage for a meat cutter was $17 dollars per hour, today the average meat cutter wage in California is $8 dollars per hour.
So here in British Columbia the foolish people of BC re-elected Gordon Campbell in 2005, the man and his cronies,particularly Gordon Campbell with his preference to give everything away to his American friends, Gordon Campbell deliberately destroyed BCs forest industry, he had lots of help from Rich Coleman and now Pat Bell, Gordon Campbell allowed the big three forest company to gobble up all the small players, and these big companies that are all controlled by New York investors don`t care about the town of Kitimat, or Port Alberni, Castlegar, and hundreds of other towns, these investors could care less if those towns die and friends that is exactly what has and is happening, now BC is quite diverse and I can hear the city folks saying...Move, come to the big city,the land of plenty,land of jobs, land of the future....And I say this to anyone who states that about the city,......The big cities have somewhat of an internal engine that drives those economies but, that city engine is now running on gas fumes and rural BC and rural resources and wealth generated by the Heartlands is the gas station that fills up the big city`s gas tanks, and friends, the rural and the heartlands gas stations are closed! There will be no filling up the big city`s gas tank!
I thought at one time that a country with resources,natural resources would be able to fend off the multi nationals and New York shareholder owned Companies, I also believed that the fact that these natural resources are here in BC,in Canada that we would be safe, I was wrong, it`s now cheaper to cut down a tree, ship it 5000 miles across the pacific ocean, unload it, truck it to an Asian mill, mill the trees, put it back on a truck, ship it back across the Pacific ocean, put it on another truck and ship it to our stores shelves for less money than we can do it here.
What is wrong with that picture, wages have been cut, how far can we cut them, our BC mills if any survive will be nothing but MC jobs, minimum wage jobs, that would suit Gordon Campbell just fine, that would suit the New York shareholders, in fact I suspect that is one of the reasons Gordon Campbell and ALL BC Liberals won`t ever raise the minimum wage, let me quickly touch on rural BC...People in rural BC generally have long commutes, crummy roads, trucks are usually the transportation of choice and need, it`s generally much colder in Rural BC, higher energy bills,higher electrical bills, much higher food bills, there isn`t multiple grocery stores competing against each other, and food and goods are more expensive than the big cities because of transportation costs, the property tax load is generally less than the big city but any savings there are more than offset by higher priced basic goods so the idea that our BC mills and forestry jobs can be MC jobs/minimum wage jobs is foolish folly!
I personally think we should close down the forest, supply nothing to China,nothing to Asia, the system is broken, we can`t compete with Asian workers making $2 dollars per day, there is no point in trying to compete, save our trees,save our forests, shut off the supply and drive prices up, the race to the bottom can`t be won,only lost, why would we compete for a loss,a loss of our Canadian society so New York shareholders and Chinese sweat shop owners can fill their pockets! Let`s all have empty pockets, sounds like a simple answer, it is to me, but there is a fly in the ointment, that fly being....Gordon Campbell,Mike De Jong, Rich Coleman, now Pat Bell have given away our forest to these New York shareholders and these forests are now called "Private lands" and we have zero say on what happens to those trees, unabated raw logs leaving from private lands that don`t even get counted in our raw log export market, these private lands, how can I describe it, well, it`s like a black market for logs, no tax, no paper trail, an underground industry that benefits nobody but Chinese sweat shop owners and New York shareholders.
Meanwhile, the owner of the Coulson mills in Port Alberni is predicting that most BC mills will be shut down by summer, that`s right folks, what little is left of our forestry is swirling Gordon Campbell`s toilet bowl.
And maybe you think oil n gas will save us, you would be wrong, with the royalties at rock bottom in BC (3%) ..With all the tax breaks,the subsidies, and with the very limited employment the industry offers there will be no oil n gas saviour, and how long will it be before the slave labour market breaches even that limited employment, 17 days in a lifetime......These shareholders, the bankers, the robber barons, they won`t accept Olympic pride for mortgage payments, they won`t trade "go Canada go" for an installment, so I hope you enjoyed the lip-sinc, I hoped the Orca in BC place was worth it, I hope you remember "what`s his name" who won the mogul event, I hope 17 days in a lifetime is worth 7000 days of pain! (you can read about the mill closures here) http://www2.canada.com/albernivalleytimes/news/story.html?id=98232b94-412f-42c8-8b3f-36800b25bac0&p=1
The Straight Goods
Cheers-Eyes Wide Open