A special legislative committee has been appointed to look at timber supply in the province.
Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad is the convenor for the seven-member committee, and says they have a short timeline to work with.
“We held our first meeting Thursday to look at what kind of a schedule we could set up to meet our report date of Aug. 15. We’ll be holding our next meetings at the end of the month.”
The committee, which also includes Liberal MLAs Donna Barnett (Cariboo-Chilcotin), Eric Foster (Vernon-Monashee) and Ben Stewart (Westside-Kelowna) and NDP MLAs Harry Bains (Surrey-Newton), Norm Macdonald (Columbia River-Revelstoke) and Bill Routley (Cowichan Valley), is looking at starting public meetings the week of June 18 and wrapping those up by July 20.
“We plan to hold meetings everywhere from Smithers down to the Kamloops-Merritt area, as well as out in Mackenzie and McBride. The areas impacted the most by the pine beetle are where we will be focused.”
The committee’s terms of reference are to consider recommendations which would increase timber supply, including direction on the potential scope of changes to land-use objectives, rate of harvest and conversion of volume-based tenures to area-based tenures.
Rustad says the committee composition was determined by the house leaders, who checked with their party MLAs to see if they would be willing to sit on the committee.
“I would have liked to have Bob Simpson (Independent, Cariboo North) on the committee,” Rustad said, “but the NDP didn’t want him on the committee.”
Simpson was an NDP MLA before becoming an Independent in December 2010.