Exporting Raw Logs out of our Community Forest is disgraceful. It is time to end the abusive relationship we have with companies that continue to disrespect our community, our forests, and our people.
We must also create dedicated space for new industry to take foot. Forestry is not dependent on being on prime waterfront land in the centre of the City.
Over the past four years there have been a number of times when new forestry industry players have come to the City looking for opportunity and we have had to either put them on the waterfront, with negative consequences (CanTimber) or provide them options that did not work for them (the recent French investor in small scale wood finishing).
We must plan for these opportunities and have space available. This might include expanding our city boundaries or purchasing vacant land especially for that purpose.
These are the two big industrial projects on the horizon. One I support, and one I cannot. We must be realistic though that these projects are also extremely long term and are very unlikely to be influenced by the City in their success.
PATH is a project with great potential. I support it in principle as it could create significant benefit in efficiency of how goods are moved around the Pacific Northwest which could lower GHG emissions and of course bring jobs to the Island.
(A great example of where Climate Action and Job Creation don’t have to be at odds).
Airport and other Industry
While it was an ACRD decision rather than a City one, I fully supported the borrowing required to upgrade the Airport. We are already seeing the benefits of that investment with the new Boeing 737 based fire liners Coulson Aviation is creating at the facility.
This is a great example of a new and growing industry that we can support in the Alberni Valley and that will create excellent jobs.