British Columbians are wood burners

Interlakes Cattlebelles concerned about wood-burning emissions reduction

To the editor:

Re: B.C. taking action to improve air quality, Sept. 23, Williams Lake Tribune Weekend Advisor.

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Interlakes Cattlebelles, from the position of a member of the organization.

We are very concerned with the actions that are being taken by the Ministry of Environment to reduce emissions from wood-burning appliances.

The article in question states: “The changes were widely consulted on with the public, industry, local government and public health agencies through the intentions paper process and focused engagement sessions.”

None of our members present at our October meeting had even heard of this consultation, or knew anything about it!

Talking about creating “15 new offenses that can be penalized under the Environmental Management Act in the form of tickets, court-ordered penalties, and/or administrative penalties” seems like scare tactics.

When are we, the public and the government, going to start listening to and consulting the people who are “on the ground” producing the food we eat?

By and large they are the ones who are burning wood (in some kind of appliance) because that is the fuel that is available and affordable.

We, in British Columbia, have been given millions of acres of trees and why wouldn’t we use them for fuel?

If we keep on covering up the productive land with concrete, asphalt and water, there soon won’t be enough food produced to feed British Columbians – never mind help the world feed its population.

On the BC Farm Women’s Network website (www.bcfwn.ca), there is a comparison to Britain and some to the United States.

We are neither of those places. We live in B.C. where there is much wide-open space and a lot of wood available!

Not all locations can be treated the same, so a blanket emissions statement cannot be a one-size fits all!

Ginny-Lou Alexander, member

Interlakes Cattlebelles