A damning report from the auditor general has criticized these Liberals for failing to maintain our forests, a failure to plant new trees, a failure to have even enough foresters on the ground to know what`s going on in our stands...New BC Liberal proposed legislation, or should I say a new proposed Order-in -council, a BC Liberal cabinet order that will take away and decision making or responsibility from British Columbia`s Chief Forester...Shocking, the Minister now in charge of the forestry file is ....Steve Thomson...And apparently Steve Thomson has LOTS of OPTIONS, far too many to count..
Here is a typewritten transcript of Sean Leslie`s short interview with Steve Thomson from Sunday, April 22, 2012(Yesterday)...You can listen to Steve Thomson`s Option-fest on cknw`s audio vault, link at bottom.
S Leslie- "Joined now by Steve Thomson BC`s minister of forests, land and natural resources operations, good afternoon minister thanks for your time"
S Thomson- "Good afternoon, how are you"
Leslie- "Good, can you tell me about this document Bob Simpson was talking about that warns about 12,000 potential job losses in the interior over the next several years as we run out of the easily accessible Pine Beetle kill timber, what is your Government doing about this minister"
Thomson- "Well Sean as you know this was part of work underway it was part of a mid-term timber supply project, review and technical analysis being done on the impact of the potential job losses, it was work that has been underway for quite a while, it`s not new news certainly the information that has come out is not new news and new numbers that people didn`t expect, it`s unfortunate in the way it came out, this information was always meant to be in public realm and public discussion, it just came out in an unfortunate way"
Leslie- "Alright though, that said, job losses, as I said, running out of this easily accessible pine beetle kill lumber, yes we`ve known it`s coming, again what`s your Government preparing to do about it"
Thomson "What were doing is an analysis looking at all the options, and clearly it points out the potential job losses if no action is taken.
There are the potential impacts if no action is taken, the process is to look at a range of options, that may, that would impact the downturn and impact the job losses over a period of time, options are being analyzed, options were being considered in the meanwhile we have invested over $840 million dollars to battle the beetle and its impacts since the 1980`s, to make sure we had programs in place to get maximum utilization out of the pine beetle wood available, that`s been a focus and were now turning significant attention to looking at all the options.
The events in Burns Lake with the Babine mill and forest products mill and Hampton mill, obviously it clearly excelerated a lot of considerations of those options"
Leslie "Are those options opening up areas of old growth timber and areas set aside for wildlife habitat or bio-diversity or other values"
Thomson "When we went to look at all the options, all the options being considered and even previously as you know Sean through the local mayors, through the community, through the region, through a resolution to UBCM asked that those areas be part of the consideration of options, and those are one`s to be considered very carefully, very very carefully.
If the constraints are put in place through a process of public process and through legal measures but they`ve asked and it`s contingent upon us to look at the mitigation options and to at least look at all the options and that would be one of them but only this is only an option and no decision has been made at this point"
Leslie "Who would be making that decision Bob Simpson was talking about, the importance of involving the public in that decision making process"
Thomsom "Well, I think you heard, clearly we`ve been having a public consultation process as we`ve gone through this with the local communities, with First Nations, with the industry, you also heard clearly in the legislature from the premier and the minister Mr. Pat Bell in response from questions that there would need to be a public process, were committed to do that"
Leslie "I remember covering a lot of these roundtables and the core process 20 and 15 and 25 years ago minister and the years of effort it took to set aside some of these protections, does it really make sense to lift them now to save what is really just a fraction of the jobs were talking about here"
Thomson "I think they need to part of the consideration of options Sean, there is also another number of options on the table, we`ve looked at how we may smooth the impact of by bringing some of the harvestable timber forward, again that`s something that needs very very careful consideration at looking at options, again looking at options that would make better utilization out of the current uneconomic stands through tools on the bio-energy policy side that would make more saw logs available and that`s what was underway and in doing those options we needed to look at all the tools that we may have available to us to be able to do this, those are the options that were being considered and worked on, that staff was asked to look to ensure if we considered those options what tools and what processes we would have to do to consider them"
Leslie "Yea, and one other issue before I let you go minister as were approaching the 3:30 news, I know interior communities and forestry communities have talked a lot about diversifying their economy and moving away from having so much reliance on the forestry industry, but is it not clear that many communities are reliant on the forest industry"
Thomson "Well, and clearly forest, and forest dependent communities is a very significant part of their economy and you just need to look at the significance of Burns Lake and the impact its had on that community and that`s why we`ve had such a focus on seeing if we can at least find the options to see if a mill can be rebuilt there.
We do in consideration of all these options, we also can`t not continue to not look at all those other options that provide those additional economic opportunities whether it`s recent mine expansion that`s been announced or other options and other opportunities that we`ve been looking at to be part of the ongoing discussions as well as we look at timber supply options as part of that."
With that the Option-fest interview ended.
7 minute interview and Steve Thomson used the word option(s) 24 times.
Cue-up 3:00 pm, Sunday April 22/2012..The interview starts about 3:20 pm
Clearly Steve Thomson has many many options, unfortunately for Mr. Thomson..
Christy Clark and this current administration have run out of options.
The Straight Goods
Cheers Ears Wide Open