WHEREAS Alberta Sustainable Resource Development is reviewing existing regulations regarding Albertas Forest Policy, including the lifting of regulations which require companies to ship their timber to local mills;AND WHEREAS the Alberta government is reviewing these existing regulations regarding Albertas Forest Policy in order to resolve the softwood lumber dispute with the United States;AND WHEREAS many of Albertas communities are dependent upon the forest industry for viability and sustainability;AND WHEREAS the Alberta government has not consulted with forest communities;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to conduct a thorough public debate on the issue of changing existing regulations regarding Albertas Forest Policy and to support a natural resource policy that promotes sustainability and long-term community stability in Alberta.
The Alberta Forest Community Coalition recently made a presentation to the council for Yellowhead County regarding the softwood lumber dispute and the provincial governments review of current forest policies and practices. Specifically, their presentation highlighted the possibility of the provincial government lifting regulations which require companies to ship their timber to local mills. Yellowhead County’s major concern is that if the province implemented this change, the result would be economic ruin for our region due to mill closures and the loss of many jobs.In Yellowhead County the local economy relies significantly on the forest industry. Local mills include Weldwood of Canada in Hinton, and Weyerhaeuser Canada and Sundance Forest Products in Edson. In Yellowhead County many companies that depend on the local forest industry are a key component of the local economy. These include numerous small mill operations and contractors, and trucking companies.Council for Yellowhead County encourages Sustainable Resource Development to review this matter with the utmost care. The provincial government should include public consultation with local communities and other stakeholders prior to any policy amendments. Yellowhead County wants to ensure that when decisions are made about this important issue that they do not negatively impact the forest industry in Alberta.
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue.