Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Notes from Exile

It has been a break of some time since I have posted to this blog and I have been meaning to do this for ages.

I look around at the current situation with rural BC and continue to see the ongoing problems that have been plaguing the communities
  • No local control over land
  • No local control over healthcare
  • No local control over the economy
  • No effective voice in politics
  • Continued loss of wealth
  • Continued loss of population
  • Still misunderstood by urban BC

As far as a I can see, the gap between urban and rural BC continues to expand. And no one seems to being paying much attention. Certainly few people in Vancouver or Victoria seem to take note that their economic well being is anyway connected to the natural resources coming from rural BC. It is this disconnect that is harming BC.

Of the 4.2 million people in BC, I suspect less than 2% know how much timber is on a logging truck and have any ballpark idea of what it is worth. Yet that timber is what drives much of the creation of wealth in BC. Forestry is still the single largest industry in BC and the interior lodgepole pine is still the single most important tree, but few seem to understand this.

The problem that arrises with this lack of knowledge is that few people are aware how much the mountain pine beetle epidemic will impact them. The volume of timber that will be lost to the economy is huge, but the impact will be delayed for another five to ten years. The numbers are simply staggering and constitute the greatest economic disaster in Canadian history.

The ballpark of economic loss we are looking at is $200 000 000 000 to $500 000 000 000.

And no one seems to care...........

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