BC Politics with Hubert Beyer

Archives of British Columbia's most well read Political Columnist




Hubert Beyer, Biography

Hubert Beyer was widely known as one of Canada's most read journalists. His columns were published regularly in most BC Community Newspapers, and his perspective sought on the Federal level as well as by NORAD in the US, Beyer lived up to his reputation as the "Fairest of them All."

Born in a small village in West Germany, Beyer immigrated to Canada in his 20s where he married and had 4 children.

A German Language publication in Winnipeg was Beyer's first foray into writing in Canada, it was soon followed with work at the Winnipeg Free Press as a Reporter covering many different beats. more

Click to read the Eulogy for Hubert Beyer

Top Search: Forestry

Find out what Beyer had to say about Forestry in BC through the years. With the forestry industry supporting a large segment of employment and opportunity in British Columbia, it's no surprise that it's a top search.

Top Search: Elections

Election are always a hot topicAnytime the faintest hint of a provincial or federal election announcement draws near, the search for quotes and history on past British Columbia elections starts to climb.

Top Search: Budget Release

When is the Budget not a hot searchProvincial Bugets are introduced with fanfare and fraught with talk from pundits, experts and critics. Take a few minutes to see how BC Budgets of the past were often projections of the future. 


VICTORIA -- After years of lobbying abroad for a boycott of B.C. lumber, Greenpeace has finally struck pay dirt.

B & Q, one of Britain’s largest do-it-yourself furniture-maker chains has announced that it will boycott B.C. hemlock, the predominant species on the West Coast. O.K, so it took Greenpeace a few years, but putting people out of work is a job that can’t be done overnight.

In a letter to MacMillan Bloedel’s distributor in Europe, the company said it intends to stop buying hemlock from Mac Blo next year and switch to pine from Scandinavian forests.

The decision to find a substitute for hemlock was made because B & Q doesn’t believe that MacMillan Bloedel and other West Coast forest companies will achieve international standards for logging of hemlock by the end of 1999.

The Forest Stewardship Council, an international group of representatives from industry, government, environmentalists and others, set those standards in 1994 at a conference in Oaxaca, Mexico,

Regional councils were to adopt the standards that deal with issues such as environmental impact, tenure and use rights, indigenous peoples’ rights and rules for monitoring.

A few years ago, businesses in Britain informed Canadian companies that they would look elsewhere for wood products if the Canadian companies didn’t move towards those standards.

B & Q’s decision to stop buying hemlock isn’t going to be the end of British Columbia’s forest industry. The company buys its wood all over the world. MacMillan Bloedel’s market share is between $1 million and $2 million a year. But B $ Q’s move could prompt other companies to follow suit.

B & Q is a member of a buyers group that includes 79 other companies with annual sales in wood products worth about $7 billion. That’s considerable clout. And we owe it all to Greenpeace.

For years, Greenpeace has spread fear and loathing by using its massive international influence to portray British Columbia as the Brazil of the North. Its tactics have included every trick in the book.

The former Harcourt government established the Commission on Resources and Environment, which came up with detailed land-use plans. It brought in a tough Forest Practices Code, so tough, indeed, that rigid adherence to it would place the entire forest industry at risk.

Nothing was enough for Greenpeace. The organization continued to lobby against the province and its forest industry around the world, which earned it the name "enemies of British Columbia" from Premier Glen Clark.

Greenpeace said B & Q’s decision to stop buying hemlock from British Columbia was a wake-up call for government and industry. To me it’s more of a wake-up call for ordinary people to take another hard look at Greenpeace.

To engineer a boycott of our forest products thousands of miles away is no achievement. It’s a disgrace.

You can’t blame B & Q for pulling the plug. These people are in business to make money. And if the buying public in Britain is convinced, thanks to the efforts of Greenpeace, that we ravage our forests, B & Q won’t buy from us, no matter what the reality may be.

One final word to Greenpeace: if you want to find out how to be responsible and effective environmentalists, read "To Save the Wild Earth" by Rick Careless.

In the 25 years Rick has been active in the environmental movement, he’s done more to make British Columbia a better and more beautiful place than Greenpeace could ever hope to achieve.

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