Two hundred logging trucks rolled into downtown Vancouver late Wednesday afternoon with horns blaring to raise awareness of the state of the forestry industry in B.C.
Mill closures have put thousands out of work and people in the interior are struggling.
“We’re having mills cutback their shifts and shut down completely and that is impacting my entire community,” says Chief Willie Sellars of the Williams Lake Indian Band.
“Where I’m from it’s a resource based economy and we’re really feeling the hit, the Williams Lake Indian Band, the city of Williams Lake, the Cariboo Regional District.”
The trucks drove past the Vancouver Convention Centre where leaders from municipal and provincial governments gathered for the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention.
Sellars says the goal of the rally was to hammer home that immediate action and solutions are needed.
“How do we offset those jobs, how do we keep people providing for their families, being from those resource based economies it is a lot more challenging when they start shutting mills down and shutting mines down, there really isn’t turning back from that, so how are they helping us?” asks Sellars.
“Hopefully this statement, this protest, this event happening today brings light to the situation and something is done, more money is committed and people start opening their eyes up to the small communities.”
Hundreds of people watched and cheered as the loud convoy circled around Canada Place.
Some supporters wore signs saying “Forestry Feeds My Family” and “BC Forestry Industry In Crisis”.
“As you can see from the turnout, there’s loggers here, truckers, people that work in the industry that support their family with forestry, there’s people here from the local city,” says Sellars.
“The impact that this is having on the conference is amazing. I’m in awe of the turnout, it’s overwhelming support.”