‘They’re hearing us now’: Cariboo leaders leave UBCM convention to cheer on rallying Cariboo loggers

Rally to Vancouver (Image courtesy of Beth Veenkamp)
Rally to Vancouver logging trucks arrive downtown. (Video screenshot courtesy of Beth Veenkamp)
(Scott Nelson photo)
A convoy of truckers take part in the Rally To Vancouver. (Image courtesy of BC Loggers Convoy Facebook)
DriveBC screenshot
(Scott Nelson photo)
(Scott Nelson photo)
Rally to Vancouver (Image courtesy of Beth Veenkamp)
Rally to Vancouver (Image courtesy of Beth Veenkamp)
Rally to Vancouver (Image courtesy of Beth Veenkamp)

Crazy, chaotic — those are just a few words Williams Lake City Councillor Scott Nelson used to described the scene in downtown Vancouver Wednesday afternoon where hundreds of log trucks arrived to protest forest industry job loss.

“It’s a fantastic show. They pretty much shut down downtown Vancouver,” Nelson said in a phone interview with Black Press Media Wednesday afternoon, the sound of logging truck horns blaring in the background.

“They showed a great force of how important rural B.C. is – they’re hearing us now.”

100 Mile House councillor Dave Mingo called the support wonderful and the past, present and future of the economy of British Columbia.

Convoys of logging trucks from across the province left their homes in rural B.C. in the dark Wednesday morning, some as early as 2 a.m., to all meet up at Merritt and travel together to reach their Vancouver destination.

From the Cariboo, Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, Councillor Scott Nelson, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Willie Sellars were standing by, waiting to greet forest industry workers outside the 2019 UBCM convention.

Truckers participating in the Rally to Vancouver said they are frustrated after months of mill curtailments and closures and want their voices heard on a provincial and national level.

From outside the UBCM convention, where the province’s politicians are all meeting this week, Cobb said there were more than 400 trucks headed to downtown.

Watch: Truck convoy protesting forestry job losses arrive in Vancouver

“We’re just going to show this government that the north and our forest industry matters,” Cobb said.

Barnett said the loggers are in Vancouver to bring government a message.

“Let’s work together and stop forgetting rural British Columbia — the backbone of B.C.,” Barnett said.

From the Cariboo, a convoy of logging trucks left Prince George at 2 a.m., travelling through the Cariboo picking up more support along the way before meeting another group in Merritt. The group left Merritt just after lunch headed for Vancouver.

Read More: ‘We’re all getting hit hard’: Cariboo loggers to join truck rally and protest job losses

Read More: Northern loggers help drive home forest industry job loss with Rally to Vancouver

Nelson said rally organizers were expected to meet with Minister Donaldson after the rally.


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