Don Elzer
Green Party of Canada
Expedition into Leadership
For more information Don Elzer can be reached by email at: donelzer@uniserve.com

His website is: www.donelzer.com
Communiqué
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COVID-19
Forests at Risk: Lock-down and panic demonstrates flaws in the Canadian and global supply chain

There is something inherently wrong when we are surrounded by a great public resource like our forests which can provide us with layers of prosperity yet we cannot be guaranteed access to warmth and shelter and even sanitary products.

March 10th, 2020

VERNON, BRITISH COLUMBIA Why do we have a shortage of toilet paper and wood pellets? Because our forest companies have over-sold wood waste from Canadian forests. All of that wood left over from industrial clearcuts is now in great demand because it is made into chips which are then primarily used for pulp and paper products, for pellets used as bio-fuel, or various kinds of particle board.

This represents a classic example of how we are squandering our natural resources through really bad planning driven by corporations and supported by federal, provincial and municipal governments.

We live in an economic culture that only considers the importance of nature if it has product value. Historically, great efforts were made to create value-added products from wood waste – without really considering the values created by a whole living forest.

Now we are exporting wood pellets and pulp, so much of it in fact that we don’t have enough wood waste unless we cut more trees down in order to create wood waste. We have strengthened the value chains that support industrial clearcut logging – a method by which we are deeply hurting this planet.

Right now there are many rural Canadians unable to heat their homes because there is a wood pellet shortage, yet those same Canadians are surrounded by forests. They are subjected to building codes and insurance stipulations which apply extra fees while forcing them to move from traditional wood fired heat to mechanical pellet heat. All of this was sold as an energy efficient solution that would help to combat climate change, and it was sold to them by corporations partnered with forest companies, and governments which in the end, never shared with the public the stress that would be placed on our forests and the fact that they would export these pellets without regard for the health and well being of Canadian families.

These wood pellets represent new competition for wood chips which have historically been used for pulp and the production of paper, as well as different kinds of particle board. This market was already becoming fragile because if lumber production declined there were fewer wood chips and less wood waste. China has turned into a major customer for our pulp, and all the ancillary products that are made from pulp including toilet paper.

In Canada, we are discovering just how fragile our supply chains are. There is something inherently wrong when we are surrounded by a great public resource like our forests which can provide us with layers of prosperity yet we cannot be guaranteed access to warmth and shelter and even sanitary products.

There is something inherently wrong when our governments and corporations will not have enough foresight and loyalty to insure that the needs of Canadians are met first, and before opportunities for export are even considered.

And there is something inherently wrong that we expand systems of natural resource extraction which will further expand the roles for the industrialization of nature without any consideration of stewardship.

We have an opportunity to fix this, if we engage in the right to repair our political systems.

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Don Elzer has launched an exploratory effort to become the leader of the Green Party of Canada. Elzer is a long-time environmental activist from British Columbia who has had a history of work within rural planning in Canada. He’s seeking the party leadership in order to address a long list of issues in the country which he suggests require “tangible systematic change.”

For more information Don Elzer can be reached at: 250.547.2001
By email: donelzer@uniserve.com

Don Elzer resides with his family in a rural area outside of Lumby, British Columbia which is in the federal constituency of North Okanagan-Shuswap. He was born in Vancouver and raised in North Burnaby, BC and has been actively involved in civic, provincial and federal politics both as an activist and journalist and has recently returned to the Green Party.

Don Elzer is the founder of the Wildcraft Forest and has been a long time environmental activist and a pioneer in “regenerative stewardship”. He is also recognized as being a leader in explaining how “sentience” is found in nature and that our greatest challenge is to capture meaningful methods of making “First Contact” with species and better ideas.

Don Elzer is a community economic development specialist and is best known for his investigative research and ongoing work with rural communities, habitat protection, permaculture and First Nations. With over 35 years of field experience working with small and medium sized enterprises and communities he has acquired key knowledge about current development and stewardship issues impacting our changing planet. As a tourism consultant he developed one of the first eco-tourism strategies in British Columbia, as well as the first creative sector development strategy in the Okanagan Valley. His role has been assessing, problem-solving and identifying emerging opportunities and leadership methods within such scenarios as industry closures, First Nations self-government, eroding community infrastructure and impacts due to climate change, so that a more creative and diverse economy and culture can be realized and sustained based on regenerative stewardship.