Many say that the controversial practice of exporting logs without processing them provides the lowest possible value for B.C. communities and starves the mills and the livelihoods that rely on timber.

Others counter that log exports are essential to the industry – that domestic sawmills are unwilling to pay the actual cost of harvesting the logs, and even at the discounted rate, there are plenty of logs available to support an expansion of the industry.

The B.C. government limits the number of logs that can be exported. To meet the needs of domestic sawmills, the province mandates that only surplus logs be exported, and it places additional rules on raw logs cut from Crown land compared with logs harvested on private land.

So which is it? Are we exporting jobs or have the local sawmills closed for other reasons? Is there hope that new sawmills could open?

Join us as Charlie Cornfield, forestry tech, councillor and past mayor of Campbell River helps us try to understand this knotty problem.

Once a month a speaker will introduce a theme to the Café, and all who attend can join in respectful, non-partisan conversation, or just sit back and listen. You are welcome to propose topics and introduce them at future Cafés. Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy to them.

As with each Café, Cornfield will have 10 minutes to introduce the topic, and then the floor is open for 50 minutes of moderated discussion.

The free session takes place Wednesday. Sept. 14 from 7 to 8 p.m. at Berwick by the Sea in the Tyee Lounge (take the elevator to the top floor).

For more information contact,