On Wednesday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the federal Government is moving ahead with a proposal to regulate logging in B.C. with the help of the B.A.E. Timber and Forestry Commission.
The proposal, which is likely to be formally presented in December, is expected to involve a review of the existing rules and a review to determine if the new regulations can better protect the environment.
McKenna says the new rules will be a way for the federal and provincial governments to get on the same page.
“I want to be clear that we will work with the BAETC to determine how we can best ensure the continued economic growth and growth of the forestry industry in British Canada,” she said.
She noted the BAC will oversee logging and forestry operations in the province.
“There will be opportunities for the BAK to review the existing regulations and, in doing so, be guided by the best interests of British Columbians,” McKenna said.
“It will be our job to make sure that our timber industry is in line with the requirements that are set out in the BCTC rules.”
She added that the BBA will have a hand in the process and that there will be “great flexibility” to allow BAKs to adapt to the new regulatory framework.
McKenna noted that the federal BAC and the BCA are both overseen by the BMA, which has also made clear it supports the BAA in setting the regulations.
“The BBA is a co-ordinator for B.CA,” she explained.
“We will work closely with the Canadian Forestry Alliance to ensure that the regulatory framework in British Cascades is as robust as possible to help grow the industry.”
McKenna says there are currently 2,000 BAA members and that they will be joining the BAE at the start of December.
“In the past we have been very clear that this is not a regulatory agency, it is a sectoral regulator,” she added.
“Our role is to facilitate the development of regulations that will promote economic growth in British Columbias forestry sector.”
But the BFA is not in favour of the new regulation, saying it will “undermine our ability to meet the requirements of the regulations.”
The BBA has also said it will be lobbying for a new regulation that would require logging to be managed and managed properly.
The BAA also said the BAMB would be reviewing its current regulation in order to ensure it’s “comprehensive, effective, transparent and consistent.”
“The BC Timber and Forest Products Association (BTFPA) is not prepared to approve the BAAA’s proposal,” said a statement from the BTFPA on Wednesday.
“This regulatory proposal does not address the key issues in the BC timber industry: the lack of timber harvesting and coating, the inadequacy of regulations to protect the forests, and the fact that timber harvesting can have significant impacts on the BMTB.”
BTA spokesperson Michael Gorman says the BTA has been in contact with BAA, BBA and the provincial BAC to ensure the BAAF is consulted.
“Given that the BC Timber Industry Association is not consulted in the development and implementation of the proposal, it will not be supporting the BAFTPA’s proposal to approve a new logging and coatings regulation,” he said.
Gorman said he can’t speculate on the impact the BDA and BAA might have on the proposed regulation.
“What we know is that the government has the authority to regulate, and we know that it has the capacity to regulate,” he added.