New Democrats Attack Bell's Tenure In Forests Ministry

The B.C. New Democrats are claiming the Forest Practices Board has confirmed that former forest minister Pat Bell has been grossly understating the true problems facing B.C.'s forests.

New Democrat forest critic Norm Macdonald said Bell needs to explainwhy his estimate of crown lands that have not been adequately replanted was less than 10 per cent of the total the Forest Practices Board revealed Thursday.

"Either the minister was badly misinformed or he was purposefully understating the problem facing our forests," said Macdonald. "The Liberal government has utterly abandoned B.C.'s forests. Treeplanting and silviculture work has been reduced even after cutting increased and at a time when fire and pests like the beetle are already taking their toll on the forests."