Forestry Truckers Organize Protest Convoy
A convoy of 230 logging trucks arrived in Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon, September 25, to protest the loss of forestry jobs and mill closures in the province. The convoy of semis started early Wednesday morning from Prince George, stopping in Quesnel, Princeton, and other towns to pick up additional forestry workers and truckers. Truckers from the Cariboo also joined the protest saying, “We’re all getting hit hard.”
The trucks with flags flying and hand-painted banners stopped briefly in Hope at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley before continuing their journey. On every bridge across the Trans-Canada highway people greeted the convoy with flags, banners and shouts of encouragement.
The trucks reached Vancouver in the afternoon and headed for the Vancouver Convention Centre. They circled around the downtown area for several hours, honking horns and saluting pedestrians. Hundreds of people gathered at the Convention Centre to greet the convoy with signs saying logs = jobs, forestry feeds my family and others.
The convoy members and their supporters expressed disappointment with the recurring crises and paralysis in the forestry sector, which the authorities appear powerless to change. Two immediate demands are for a change in stumpage rates for logs harvested from Crown land to better reflect the actual price of production and market conditions, and to reinstate the previous arrangement that tied timber in a given region to specific sawmills.
(Photos: C. Langill, R. Pfyffer, J. Beckett)