Are people out West familiar with Stand Up For The North?
This is a non-partisan group of people from all economic sectors mainly concerned with the disruption to Northern communities caused by the downturn in the Forest sector.
A perfect storm of the high dollar, low US housing starts, the Softwood Lumber Sellout and soaring fuel costs has devastated many towns here and on the Island.
Toss in the crisis in Fisheries and the downturn in Tourism and we’re all feeling the hit!
Form a Concerned Citizens Committee and toss around some ideas as we have in Mackenzie and Fort St. James and align with them. Some good ideas have come up so far and we’ve been having rallies where they help bring people and speakers from other towns to show support. This is a one for all and all for one, united we stand type of effort.
Some ideas & resolutions tossed about so far
- return to appurtenance - a dedicated portion of wood taken from a District must be processed in that District.
- Ban Raw Log Exports!!!
- extensions to EI benefits in affected communities
- some sort of benefit like EI that affects contractors and self-employed who are directly affected by the downturn
- improved training grants, make them available to everyone affected (not just laid off millworkers), make the training local if possible and for local jobs (most retrained must leave their community to work)
- moratoriums on interest and penalties for late business taxes
- NORTHERN LIVING TAX CREDIT to offset higher costs of living, the unfair burden of carbon taxes due to loger distances and the lack of public transit alternatives and the higher cost of heating homes and businesses in a colder climate.
- more decision making at a community level. Decisions are being made in Vancouver, Victoria where they have no idea how those decisions affect us.
Fort St. James Save Our Community Rally is noon, Aug 23rd at Cottonwood Park.