BC tree-farm land fiasco

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BC’s auditor General is slamming the provincial government for allowing a forestry company to remove land reserved for tree farm licenses, for residential development.
John Doyle’s report cites former forests Minister Rich Coleman in particular, citing possibilities of conflict of interest and insider trading.
The report, released earlier today in Victoria, said Coleman’s decision to remove 28 thousand hectares of private forest lands, from three tree farm licences, on southern Vancouver Island, was made without sufficient regard for the public interest.
It suggests that Rich Coleman may have been more concerned with the financial problems of Western forest Products, than with the public interest, saying the decision was made without adequate information.
At the time, the ministry estimated the value of the land, which surrounds popular outdoor recreation areas west of Victoria, including a surf break at Jordan River and the Sooke River potholes, at $150 million if removed from the TFLs.
The ruling Liberals are greeting the report with anger, with Coleman’s successor Pat Bell saying he stands by Coleman’s decision, and that the ministry has already been cleared of any wrongdoing.

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