Restore annual cut, says IWA

  • Dec. 15, 2003 3:00 p.m.

IWA Local 2171 president Darrel Wong says the deal between Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd. and the Council of the Haida Nation to reduce the annual cut here is costing union members their jobs.
“This is the only area (of BC) where someone other than government has unilaterally reduced the cut by more than 500,000 cubic metres,” Mr. Wong said. “It is having an economic impact on the people we represent, their families and the communities up here.”
Weyerhaeuser has voluntarily reduced its cut on the islands to 600,000 cubic metres a year from the previously allowed 1.1-million cubic metres a year. However, delays in cutting permit approvals mean that this year the company will cut only about 350,000 cubic metres. That has meant a noticeable shortage of work for IWA members on the islands, Mr. Wong said.
“A lot of people have had very little work,” he said. “It also makes it extremely expensive to log when you have no continuity of permits.”
If there are concerns that the cut level is not sustainable, they should be addressed by an independent expert, he said.
Mr. Wong said he has been asking the provincial government to do something about this situation but has received little response so far. He has met with two ministers and an MLA. So far, he said, the only thing he’s heard is that the province’s decision in September to suddenly offer the Haida Nation 20-percent of the Charlottes was spurred in part by this issue.