Unifor pulp and paper locals in British Columbia threw their support behind a rally on July 22 that demands an overhaul to the way the province’s forests are managed. A coalition of union, environmental organizations, and First Nations called on Premier Christy Clark to stop the export of raw logs.

“The BC Liberals have been exporting forestry jobs overseas for 16 years,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor Western Director. “We need a government in BC that makes a strong forest sector their priority.”

The coalition rallied in Port Alberni near the Catalyst paper mill. The mill is struggling under current conditions and only employs a fraction of the 1,500 workers it employed 30 years ago. Deregulation in the forestry sector has sent thousands of jobs overseas and has pushed the health of coastal forests to the brink.

According to the Wilderness Committee, the BC exports over six million cubic metres of raw logs—enough logs to fill over 200,000 logging trucks.

Unifor locals 433, 456, 592, 686B, 855, 1119, and 1132 participated in the event.