Forest workers in Revelstoke, British Columbia, call for bylaw to reinforce Wood First policy, give greater priority to wood in construction projects over concrete, steel

Wendy Lisney

Wendy Lisney

Feb 15, 2012 – Revelstoke Times Review

REVELSTOKE, British Columbia , February 14, 2012 () – Revelstoke city council will have a second look at their 'Wood First' policy after receiving suggestions from the Revelstoke Forest Workers Society about ways to improve it.

The policy was adopted in January of 2011. It promotes the use of wood in municipal construction projects and also encourages the use of wood in other major government buildings, such as the construction of the two new schools.

The general concept is to support a local industry by favouring wood over other building products such as concrete or steel.

A Jan. 18 letter from the Revelstoke Forest Workers Society say they support the policy, but they encouraged the city to go further.

The letter notes the policy is very similar to one in Quesnel, the first city in B.C. to promote the wood first concept at the municipal level. "Unfortunately, the Revelstoke policy does not include important concepts in the Quesnel resolution, including the city's support of a 'sustainable wood industry' in the community and building a 'wood culture in the community, in B.C. and across Canada.'" writes Forest Workers Society chairman Mike Copperthwaite.

His letter encourages the city to adopt a resolution and a bylaw that would beef up requirements.

The letter from the forest workers also encourages other measures for adding teeth to the policy, such as enshrining it in a bylaw, as opposed to the existing policy.

In discussion, council opted to refer the advice to the city's planning department for further review.

"I think there are some valid comments," said Coun. Chris Johnston. "Perhaps we could get some comments from the planning department and go from there."

No timeline was placed on the referral to the planning department. The policy would need council approval if it is revised.

In his letter, Copperthwaite noted the society had expected to be consulted after the policy was adopted last January, but after a year passed and they weren't, they went forward and penned the letter.


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