Green Party Leader Releases Fair Share Forestry Plan


(FREDERICTON, NB) -- Standing outside a once-shuttered sawmill that's getting back on its feet thanks to local investors and woodlot owners, Green Party Leader David Coon unveiled his plan to bring fairness to the harvesting of timber on Crown lands.

Joined by Andrew Clark, former president of the Federation of Woodlot Owners of New Brunswick and the Green Party candidate in the Carleton riding, Coon called for a new "Fair Share" approach to the utilization of the province's forest resources.

"Independent sawmills do not have fair access to wood on Crown lands because it is controlled by the big forestry companies, so those mills are constantly having to shut-down and lay-off their workers," Coon said. "Furthermore, First Nations are left out of the picture, and it is impossible for start-up companies to get access to forest resources under the current system," the Green Party leader said. "We are going to change this to create new local business opportunities and new local jobs, and to include First Nations."

Coon announced his party's plan to bring fairness to the forestry sector. If elected, the party will:

· Enact legislation immediately to cancel all contracts signed by the Alward Government with forestry companies, which guarantee a 25-year increase in wood supply and obligate the government to supply wood at competitive prices.

· Restore the status of private woodlots as the Primary Source of Supply for the big forestry companies.

· Replace the Crown Lands and Forests Act with a Crown Land and Forest Sustainability Act that takes the management of the Crown lands out of the hands of the big companies like J.D. Irving and Fornebu Lumber. Forest management services would instead be provided by cooperative, social or business enterprises under agreements with the Department of Natural Resources, First Nations, or municipalities, as appropriate.

· Provide for the creation of Community Forest Licences, as has been done in British Columbia, adjacent to and within First Nations and municipalities.

"The Crown lands should be a tremendous source of local green jobs and green business opportunities that strengthen our rural and First Nation economies. It is not, and the Green Party plan will make it so," Coon said.

Our Principles

>Living within Our Ecological Means

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Local Self-Reliance

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Real Democracy

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Social Justice and Equality

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Active Citizenship

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> A Culture of Peace and Respect

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

Admin sign in