Several people stood at overpasses along Highway 1 through Hope to show support to a convoy of logging truck drivers from across B.C. who were heading into Vancouver on Sept. 25, 2019. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

VIDEO: Logging truck convoy stalls traffic in downtown Vancouver to protest job losses

Truckers from Merritt, Quesnel, Prince George and more converge at UBCM convention

More than 100 semi trucks arrived in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon to draw attention to B.C.’s forestry workers struggling in the face of significant job losses.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Vancouver Convention Centre to watch the trucks loop a section of the downtown core. High log prices and a declining timber supply have prompted several recent mill curtailments and closures in B.C., affecting thousands of workers.

The convoy began in the wee hours, leaving Prince George and stopping to pick up truckers in Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile, Merritt and Hope, on their way to the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual convention.

The drivers were met with dozens of supporters as they drove through communities impacted by recent mill closures, honking as people waved from the roadside.

The trucks, many with flags and handpainted banners, pulled up to Hope at about 1 p.m.

Several people gathered on overpasses over Highway 1 to cheer them on.

“You get to hear everything they’re going through there,” said Shari Stephens, who works at the Flying J Truck Stop in Hope, as she waved at the trucks passing underneath the overpass.

In Vancouver, Stuey Wheeler, who owns a logging equipment business in Delta, was out with his family to cheer on the convoy.

“We have about three builds left in the shop but after that we don’t really have anything on the books,” he told Black Press Media.

READ MORE: ‘It’s hurting everybody’: Langley family worries about their business amid logging downturn

The convoy members are calling for an immediate change to stumpage rates in B.C., which are based on what companies pay for logs through BC Timber Sales, and to bring back an agreement that ties timber in a given region to specific sawmills.

A spokesperson for the province said Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and Parliamentary Secretary Ravi Kahlon, who is the MLA for Delta North, were meeting with convoy leaders Wednesday afternoon.

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

The B.C. government announced early retirement and training funds for out-of-work loggers, in part by transferring from money a fund meant to spur economic diversification in rural communities.

– with files from Jessica Peters and Ashley Wadhwani

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Several people stood at overpasses along Highway 1 through Hope to show support to a convoy of logging truck drivers from across B.C. who were heading into Vancouver on Sept. 25, 2019. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

Several people stood at overpasses along Highway 1 through Hope to show support to a convoy of logging truck drivers from across B.C. who were heading into Vancouver on Sept. 25, 2019. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

Several people stood at overpasses along Highway 1 through Hope to show support to a convoy of logging truck drivers from across B.C. who were heading into Vancouver on Sept. 25, 2019. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

Doug Miller, of Kamloops, steps down from the cab of his truck after he arrived in a convoy of logging trucks in downtown Vancouver, on Wednesday September 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Just Posted

Prominent Slocan Valley environmental activist dies

Marilyn Burgoon was ‘tough and determined’

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Hwy 3 to close for avalanche control on Jan. 19

The road is expected to be closed from noon to 3 p.m.

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Most Read