An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
I HAPPENED TO BE IN VANCOUVER when the convoy of logging trucks rolled through town blasting their horns to the cheers of thousands who lined the streets under the sky scrapers.
I confess I felt a lump in my throat watching and hearing those trucks go by, and several people I talked to afterwards all said they felt the same way.
The forest industry is the life blood of the economy in Interior B.C., and it’s under threat. Those truck operators got out of bed in the middle of the night and linked up at several points along the way from the north end of the province to the Thompson and Okanagan valleys, making their way to the Coast in a convoy 17 km. long.
All along the way, people cheered them on and waved home-made placards. When they got to Vancouver, where few people ever catch sight of a logging truck, the boisterous welcoming reception continued.
Support wasn’t unanimous, of course. Some sanctimonious environmentalists say the truck loggers should find other employment.
They point to the fact that the truckers burned a lot of fossil fuel getting to Vancouver.
I consider myself a practical environmentalist, one who happens to think we’ll always need the forest industry and we shouldn’t blame those who make a living from it under the rules that are set for them.
If you and your friends were suddenly facing the prospect of no income, and if you had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the equipment needed to put food on the table, wouldn’t you be willing to spend four or 500 hundred dollars on gas and spend a grueling day driving to the Coast to make a point?
Let’s just hope our provincial politicians are listening.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.