The Chapman Creek Watershed protests have caught the eye of Brookfield Asset Management, Inc (formerly known as Brascan). BAM has its investments spread far and wide and one of those investment vehicles is Island Timberlands which is the the second largest holder of private timberlands in British Columbia; the largest holder is TimberWest. Island Timberlands was formed following Brascan's acquisition of Weyerhaeuser's BC Coastal Timberland assets. You can be sure some of those private timberlands include watershed reserves. It is interesting to note that Island Timberlands has holdings in the Port Alberni area and the valley began fighting to protect its watershed last year after three boil waters advisories. In addition, Island Timberlands is a large exporter of raw logs to Asia and that is something else the valley has been protesting as they watch their mills closing.
BAM has a fifty percent stake in Island Timberlands with the remainder owned by two leading Canadian institutional investors. Who might these institutional investors be? Pension funds? There is the reality and irony of it; we protest logging in our watersheds and yet hold mutual funds that along with pension funds invest in companies that are logging our watersheds. Nothing in life is simple.
Well, it wouldn't be a surprise to learn that some discreet phone calls are being made right now to our provincial forestry minister or to the premier asking if these protests are annoying little bug bites or if there needs to be concern. In turn, some more discreet calls will be made to our local politicians offering some advice along the lines... "Well, now you know that funding you were looking for? Well, it might get delayed or spent somewhere else if this doesn't stop." Then we will find out how committed our local politicians are to protecting the watersheds.
Of course, one can get carried away, and perhaps this is only a case of a bored employee at Trisura taking a few minutes to read the news on the internet. That must be the case; but, look at the nice trees on their website. I think they took that picture in a watershed.