Waiting for the cheque; Tree ReLeaf coming to B.C.


I am pleased to read that the premier is back from Hawaii and has already offered provincial assistance to restore Stanley Park.  Money well spent on patching the damage done since the weather turned in early November.
I am hopeful he will be as quick to offer assistance to clean up and restore public areas in my constituency of Malahat Juan de Fuca.  Goldstream Park has been rocked by repeated weather events leaving trees down, trails closed and much-needed revenue lost during the salmon run.
Recreation and tourism opportunities in south Cowichan from Shawnigan to Cowichan Bay need public assistance to be ready for the spring and summer seasons. China Beach, French Beach and numerous other park areas along the Juan de Fuca Strait have also been devastated.  Certainly recreation areas in south Vancouver Island are as important to the people of B.C. as Stanley Park.
 The costs of returning our public spaces to safe and affordable places for residents to relax, recreate and enjoy are not yet known.  More importantly, the cost of private property damage is also yet to be totalled. As my constituents continue to dig out, bail out and light candles I hope the premier and his cabinet have a few extra surplus dollars to deal with our communities as the magnitude of the devastation from winter 2007 becomes clearer.
 I look forward to the cheque, premier.
 John Horgan, MLA
Malahat-Juan de Fuca
Re “Trees crash into homes,” Dec. 20, 2006
Having read the article “Trees crash into homes,” Dec. 20, your readers might be interested in knowing that Tree Canada is preparing to assist with replanting in areas destroyed by the recent storms along the B.C. coast.
Tree Canada has established the B.C. Coast ReLeaf Fund to allow Canadians the opportunity of donating to help in the reforestation efforts. Individual and corporate donations can be made through our website at www.tcf-fca.ca, by calling 1-877-666-1444 ext.221, or by sending cheques to Tree Canada, 222 Somerset St. W, Suite #402, Ottawa, ON, K2P 2G3, addressed to Tree Canada and marked ‘B.C. Coast ReLeaf Fund.’
We are calling on all Canadians who value the magnificent trees and natural areas of British Columbia to help us restore these lands.  These trees are an important part of our national heritage.  
We will be working with community leaders and Tree Canada’s Community Advisers to ensure that the right trees are planted in the right places.
The loss of so many trees is tragic, especially to the communities who have suffered damage to their urban forests.  B.C.’s most famous urban forest, Stanley Park, lost many large, older trees which lent a unique character to the area.
Tree Canada has helped communities across Canada with ReLeaf Funds before — through B.C. Fire ReLeaf when wildfires ravaged the Okanagan area and the Maritime Hurricane ReLeaf after Hurricane Juan in 2003.  To date, we have planted more than 74 million trees in urban and rural areas and continue to work to raise the profile of our urban forests.
Michael Rosen
Vice President, Tree Canada