Province should end raw log exports

Dear Mr. Horgan, I was dismayed to read your speech to COFI in Prince George on

April 6 and to see not one word about raw log exports.

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We are facing a crisis in fibre supply in this province.

Mills are in precarious situations in regards to having enough fibre to run and yet the province is allowing six million cubic metres of fibre (raw logs) to leave this province annually. That's more than enough to cover the AAC drops in the

100 Mile House and Williams Lake areas with lots to spare.

When the NDP initially allowed raw log exports in the '90s, it was for excess logs only.

The Liberals ended appurtenancy and created an artificial surplus of excess raw logs by having smaller mills shut due to no available logs in their area at a price they could afford.

You have the ability to end this industry-wrecking practice.

This would help not only the forest industry (companies and workers) by ensuring long-term fibre surety, but also engage First Nations in the development of a viable industry for them as well. This would result in an increase in the tax base - more workers, more income tax, as well as encourage new businesses to start up.

We need to ensure that we are using the available fibre completely and raw logs are a huge part of that fibre.

We cannot continue to let the lifeblood of our industry sail past us on ships for other countries, while our industry dies the death of a thousand cuts.

You were supported by thousands of workers in our industry during the election and it's way past time to respond to their needs.

You need to have the courage to do the right thing. We are counting on you.

Al Sahlen,

National secretary-treasurer

Public and Private Workers of Canada

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