Fifteen trucks left Princeton at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. When the convoy hits Vancouver it is expected to be 200 trucks strong. (Andrea DeMeer/Princeton Spotlight)

70 trucks and counting: B.C. loggers en route to Vancouver to protest job losses

The initial convoy left Prince George at 2 a.m. Wednesday, stopping through the Cariboo

It was an early-morning start for dozens of B.C. Interior loggers heading from Prince George to Vancouver to make noise over job losses in the province’s once-booming forest industry.

The initial convoy left Prince George at 2 a.m. Wednesday, stopping through Williams Lake at 5 a.m. As the group heads to the Vancouver Convention Centre, up to 200 logging trucks are expected to join along the route.

About 100 trucks from the north, including Prince George, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House, were seen on the roads in 100 Mile, receiving honks of support and more trucks as they travel through rural communities impacted by mill curtailments and closures.

The Rally to Vancouver truck protest, organized by Merritt logger Howard McKimmon and others, is shedding light on the “industry in crisis” as mayors and MLAs from across the province converge in the Lower Mainland for its annual Union of BC Municipalities convention.

It’s no doubt that the recent hits to the forest sector will be top of mind for mayors in the Interior who have seen first-hand the job losses felt by their community members.

READ MORE: ‘We’re all getting hit hard’: Cariboo loggers to join truck rally and protest job losses

This year has seen four mills permanently close in the region, putting as many as 700 workers out of a job. There have been a further 13 indefinite closures which has impacted an estimated 1,000 workers, as well as hundreds more impacted due to curtailments.

The main goal, the group of loggers said, is to call for immediate changes to stumpage rates in B.C., which are based on the prices that companies pay for logs through BC Timber Sales, and bring back appurtenancy – an agreement that ties timber in a given region to specific sawmills.

In the meantime, the B.C. government has announced early retirement and training funds for forest workers out of jobs, in-part funded through $25 million originally meant for the rural dividend fund. The reallocation of funds has been met with protest by rural mayors.

READ MORE: B.C. communities protest transfer of aid funds to those hit by sawmill closures

– with files from Angie Mindus, Williams Lake Tribune


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lantzville opts against forming social media committee

Committee would have helped district council develop policy on social media behaviour

Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary has been fundraising for 120 years

Hospital auxiliary president says group pioneered Wi-Fi at hospitals on Island

Gabriola Island community bus sees 100,000th rider

Gabriola Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express celebrated milestone Jan. 25

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mayor and council aren’t necessary

Instead of candidates, put municipal priorities on the ballot, says letter writer

RDN budget talks to include public consultation results

Director not impress with level of engagement

Protesters in Nanaimo preach peace in Iran

Rally sees gathering at Diana Krall Plaza in downtown Nanaimo

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

Licensed cannabis store opens in Nanaimo’s north end

Mood Cannabis Company’s Metral Drive location opened Jan. 18

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

Most Read