Rainforest Solutions Project

Promoting conservation and economic alternatives in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest


$30M forest pledge ‘clear signal’ of green Tories: Baird

January 22, 2007

A $30-million pledge to preserve B.C.‘s Great Bear Rainforest should put any lingering doubts about the Conservative government’s green commitments to rest, the newly appointed federal environment minister said Sunday.

“I became the environment minister two weeks ago. This was immediately put in front of me as an important project,” John Baird said, referring to the financial boost to B.C. that will help conserve 1.8 million hectares of the central coast forest.

“If we wanted to give a clear signal, not just talk as we’ve seen in the past, but [a] clear signal of some early action, this should be one,” Baird said, pushing the idea that the Conservatives are paying attention to the environment.

The money will also help First Nations communities start eco-friendly businesses. It adds to the $90-million contribution from B.C. and environmental groups.
Long way to go: environmental group

Forest Ethics spokesperson Merran Smith said the environmental group was pleased to note the Conservatives appeared to be giving more attention to environmental issues.

But she added that Baird has a long way to go as an environmental leader.

“This government is really going to have to take many more steps down the road towards action on climate change, action on species, and action on protection of our old growth forests,” she said.

Baird’s funding announcement was the third in one week, coming after a financial promise to help restore Stanley Park’s storm-ravaged forests and subsidies to increase the supply of clean energy and renewable resources.