Mr. Ignatieff does not recognize a basement from a foundation ["Ignatieff presents views on Squamish and the economy," The Chief, March 27].
How nice to hear how we should look to the future from someone who has spent most of their working life as non-resident Canadian.
Certainly we should have and welcome the opportunity to hear what political leaders have to say or offer, but not listen to nonsense. Suggesting that forestry is a basement industry (and other resource industries, I presume), he is oblivious or non-informed that the forest industry in this province and in Canada is a foundation industry, which was instrumental in building this country.
[Our industry is] not always perfect, but [we're] now recognized worldwide for our sustainable forestry policies and environmental practices. Yes, we need value added opportunities to utilize our timber for lumber, furniture and other commodities derived from wood - unfortunately the forest industry was one of the first hit by the global economic downturn and the collapse of the U.S. housing market as well as the demand for the other uses for wood fibre.
Perhaps Liberal Leader Ignatieff should take the time to confer with [B.C.] Liberal Premier Campbell where he would learn that one of our premier's objectives when it comes to the forest industry is to work towards securing and creating jobs that forest families depend on.
Forest Minister Pat Bell is working tiredly to focus on four key areas that will help create jobs, build a real, long-term future for forestry, growing more trees, full utilization of fibre, developing international markets and expanding the use of wood in commercial buildings.
Mr. Ignatieff should take a tour of the 2010 Olympic facilities where wood is an integral part of the structures by design, not by chance.
To quote Premier Campbell: "Forestry was a founding industry of our province, a prominent part of the provincial economy and we must ensure it is there for our future generations."
I recommend that Mr. Ignatieff come out of the classroom and into the forest. Trees will continue to grow and there will be a future for the forest industry here in Squamish, in the province and Canada. Begs the question, how adept is he at finding practical solutions to the other issues affecting our forest industry?
Soo Coalition for Sustainable Forests