Small community economies being destroyed

Thank you for your letter of May 2 in which you touched on some very important points and concerns.

Dear Randy,

Thank you for your letter of May 2 in which you touched on some very important points and concerns.

You and I face the same challenges to make sense out of the actions of some of our industry leaders, their companies and their advisors.

We both live in areas that depend on resource development for our existence.

You live in an area that was specifically developed to manufacture aluminum, an industry that depends on low-cost power and massive infrastructure.

The company developed a wonderful and well laid-out community which in theory should have been a resounding commercial success, especially with the other opportunities that were developing for pulp and forestry activities.

I visited Kitimat and was amazed to see such a magnificent instant community virtually hacked out of the wilderness. As it developed it was a long way away from the kind of negative forces that have stood in the way of normal and natural development around the much more easily accessible forested areas of Vancouver Island.

Among the biggest challenges that we have faced, especially in our “forest industry” communities, are the anti-logging campaigns paid for by US Foundations. About $45,000,000 every year is still being transferred into Canada.

Some of it paid for the campaigns that brought our biggest forest company to its knees and eventually destroyed it.

There were over a thousand forestry jobs in the Tofino/Ucluelet area, sustainably logging around 960,000 cubic meters annually. Today there are less than fifty jobs there for mostly First Nations people.

A seasonal tourist industry employs mostly transient workers, a far cry from the well-paid forestry jobs that were there previously.

We have seen some new businesses start up to operate and service the aquaculture industry, but it too is being pilloried by the same people that so badly damaged our forest industry.

The effect on our workers and their families has been disastrous. Many proud people have been reduced to welfare and government subsidies.

And having watched the economy of our small communities being destroyed, I have to protest the actions of the US subsidized anti-development organizations which pump in that $45,000,000 annually.

I don’t believe they should be able to benefit from having a “charitable” status for tax purposes, and I hope the government will accede to our request to cancel it.

Thanks again for your interest and hopefully your understanding. It was good of you to write.

With best regards,

Gerry Furney,


Mayor, Port McNeill.