Earlier, we reported on the star-studded cast of characters who attended former American vice-president Al Gore's global warming presentation at the University of British Columbia. But some environmentalists were gap-mouthed when they learned Ike Barber co-sponsored the event. After all, Mr. Barber isn't just a well-known philanthropist and Order of Canada recipient. He's also the founder and former chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Slocan Forest Products Ltd. which, beginning in the eighties, fought a protracted war in the woods with treehuggers over logging in the Slocan Valley's community watershed.
Asked why Mr. Barber contributed at least part of the cash to bankroll Mr. Gore's speech, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre communications officer Glenn Drexhage explained, "The event was held to honour (departing University of British Columbia president) Martha Piper. And she has a long-standing interest in global issues. So having Al Gore speak about topics like climate change and population growth was a fitting tribute to her at UBC." And, added the centre's managing director Catherine Quinlan, Mr. Barber made that contribution in "recognition of his work with Martha Piper."