Poll Results: Steelworkers happy that public supports different direction for BC resource policy

    BURNABY, BC, April 5 /CNW/ - A new poll shows public support for
fundamental changes in BC's forest and resource policy, say the United
Steelworkers (USW).
    In a poll conducted by Strategic Communications from March 15-27, the
union asked whether respondents agreed or disagreed that companies using BC's
natural resources should be required to provide jobs and other economic
benefits directly to local communities. A large majority agreed or strongly
agreed, with just 8 per cent disagreeing.
    "89 per cent of British Columbians polled get it", said USW Western
Canada Director Stephen Hunt. "Whether it's our trees or our water, companies
should only have access to these resources if they are going to provide jobs
and economic benefits to BC communities. That is the deal that we should be
demanding in this province."
    The question of taxing and restricting all raw log exports also received
strong public support. The poll shows that just over two-thirds (68 per cent)
of British Columbians polled agree on taxation and regulation of raw log
exports regardless of whether they are from public or private lands.
    "This is another area where those who are off side are the corporations,
bureaucrats and politicians who say public and private forest lands should be
treated differently," said Hunt, "Allowing raw log exports hurts BC workers
and communities regardless of whether they are under federal or provincial
jurisdiction. We hope the Minister of Forests sees that because we now know
British Columbians do."
    USW members were in Victoria last week lobbying provincial politicians on
these and other forest and resource policy issues. The union plans to continue
its campaign in resource-based communities and will return to Victoria when
the legislature resumes sitting after its Easter break.

    The USW is BC's largest private sector union, representing more than
40,000 workers throughout the province. In total across Canada, the union
represents 280,000 men and women working in every sector of the economy,
including some 50,000 forest and wood workers.

For further information:

For further information: Scott Lunny, (604) 683-1117, (604) 329-5308

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