VICTORIA, BC, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - BC Forest Services centenary
celebrations scheduled for February 27 are clouded by serious concerns
over the BC Government's ability to effectively manage BC forests. The
Professional Employees Association (PEA) is calling on the BC
Government to invest in licensed forestry professionals who work in
BC's public service so they can carry out their role in managing BC
The recent Auditor General's report indicates there are significant
concerns over the Government's management of a resource that generates
significant revenue for the province. This report targets the
Government's lack of accountability, limited replanting practices, and
poor forests information; therefore, concluding Government cannot
ensure its management practices are effective. Additional studies,
including one from the Forest Practices Board, raise alarms over the
rapidly reduced number of field and office staff.
The BC Government indicated in the recent budget they plan to further
reduce the BC public service by 2000 positions over the next three
years. This comes after years of workforce reduction of
licensedprofessionals. The budget invested very little into the
Ministry of Forests; this indicates the BC Government is not prepared
to make the necessary improvements.
The PEA represents over 1200 GovernmentLicensed Professionals (GLP).
They work directly for the BC Government and a majority are licensed
professional foresters. Over the past decade the PEA has seen its GLP
membership reduced by 26 percent. "Further reductions in the BC public
service could have additional damaging and long-lasting effects on BC's
forests," said Scott McCannell, Executive Director of the PEA.
"We are calling on the BC Government to adequately invest in BC forests
and the public service" said McCannell, "the Auditor General and
several independent reports indicate there are serious concerns about
the future viability of BC forests as a sustainable source of revenue
for public services if adequate investments are not made." Licensed
professionals that work for Government have the expert knowledge,
skills and experience needed for Government to address this situation.
SOURCE Professional Employees Association
For further information:
Brett Harper, Communications Officer
Phone: 250-385-8791 ext. 206