Government to Review FRBC

The B.C. Liberal government has announced a review of Forest Renewal BC to be completed by this fall.

Forest Minister Mike de Jong followed through on another Liberal election commitment by announcing yesterday a review of Forest Renewal BC. At the same time he removed the board of directors of the corporation and established himself as the interim board. Don Wright the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Forests will become Forest Renewal BC’s CEO and will lead the review. Forest Renewal will continue to carry out its 2001/02 business plan obligations. However, no new long-term contracts or commitments will be made until the review is completed the minister said. Deputy Minister Wright has been charged to complete the review by September 30. Changes based on those recommendations will be implemented April 1, 2002. The announcement reflects the government’s determination to live up to its agenda commitments. During the election the Liberals promised to eliminate New Forest Opportunities Ltd and any other HCL style agencies established by the NDP. Information available to date does not indicate whether the fate of New Forest will be part of the review or a separate initiative. In a note to Ministry of Forests employees the deputy minister said no major staff changes are anticipated during the term of the review. While the duties and focus of some FRBC and Minstry positions will change while the review is underway, most fundamental responsibilities of these postions will remain the same said Wright. Many ministry programs and positions are funded by Forest Renewal BC. Members of the WSCA will meet with Minster de Jong later this week to discuss the implications of this announcement.