Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
September 7, 2018
Volume 18 Issue 13

Warning: None of the facts and opinions expressed in this publication come from anonymous sources.

Shouldn’t It Be the “New Abnormal”?

B.C.’s second consecutive wildfire emergency is part of a larger pattern of increasing disasters. This is not normal. (photo NASA)

Let’s set the scene summarizing the planet’s last two weeks of disasters: menacing wildfires along with oppressive smoke affected large parts of our continent’s west; tropical Storm Lane dumped more than 40 inches of rain on parts of Hawaii; Venezuela was rocked by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake; devastating monsoon flooding in India killed 400 people and displaced a million more; typhoon Jebi, the strongest in 25 years, hit Japan and indigenous reindeer herders in Sweden pleaded for state aid to defray the impacts of extreme drought.

Here in B.C. we’ve had another year of destructive flooding and another consecutive provincial wildfire emergency with more loss and disruption. These kinds of years have begun to be described as the new normal. But they’re not normal. The fires in their extremity are unusual. And the prospect of natural disaster displacement and damage occurring regularly should be alarming. These are not things we can likely live with as any kind of normal. Over time they will prove too costly to tolerate.

The new normal should be about our commitment to preparing for and mitigating these events. It should include reforming the old assumptions and policies that are contributing to the current crisis recognizing this is very early on in the climate change curve. And along with the rest of the planet it should be about dealing with, not accepting, these kinds of disasters.

How Do We Recruit and Retain the Future Silviculture Workforce?

Today’s planters are more interested in the money than the experience at a time when pay rates have stagnated and lost ground against inflation and other work.

Just what individual employers and the industry as a whole can do to support the forestry sector’s capacity will be discussed in earnest at next week’s WFCA Annual Business and Market Summit in Kamloops. There is a growing consensus among employers that a new approach is needed in order to attract and keep the best workers in today’s active economy. This comes at a time when public investments driven by climate change strategies and wholesale plantation losses on the ground due to drought and fire foreshadow significant increases in reforestation and restoration work. Meanwhile minimum wage is rising and workers expect more than minimal earning adjustments in exchange for their productivity. Summit registration is free and open to all seedling producers, silviculture contractors and forestry consultants at Thompson Rivers University Conference Centre 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Wednesday 12 September 2018. Please register in advance

Mark Your Calendars for next year’s 2019 WFCA Annual Conference, Trade Show and AGM Wednesday 30 January to Friday 1 February 2019 Victoria B.C.

Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort will host the 2019 event.