VICTORIA (April 10, 2019) – Ordinary British Columbians travelled to the Legislature today to demand John Horgan and the NDP nix their caribou plan that will kill jobs and shut down key parts of B.C.’s northern economy.
“We are talking about significant job loss as a direct result of the Horgan caribou plan that never bothered to take the public’s concerns seriously,” said Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier. “People are deeply concerned that they will lose their jobs and be shut out of the backcountry without even having had the chance to tell government how the plan will impact their lives.”
At issue is an NDP plan that fails to adequately consider literally hundreds of jobs, particularly in the forest sector. Further at risk are severe back country restrictions and John Horgan’s unwillingness to ensure meaningful consultation. Instead, there is a mad rush to get through the process and hard-working British Columbians don’t trust they are being heard.
“Over 30,000 people have signed our petition that calls for an immediate halt to the current process,” said Kathleen Connolly with Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery. “There has been a complete lack of transparency and meaningful consultation. People are worried because the NDP government has failed to conduct a socio-economic impact study that outlines the science behind the current draft agreements.”
For a government that says it knows best when it comes to supporting the forestry sector, John Horgan and the NDP seem determined to kill hundreds of forestry jobs across the province.
“I run a 57-year-old, third-generation business that relies on outdoor enthusiasts to generate employment in my community,” said Tim Schram of Corlane Sporting Goods in Dawson Creek. “Government needs to back off and take the time necessary to develop a proper plan that saves caribou and people can live with at the same time.”
This botched plan is further proof John Horgan and the NDP aren’t governing for the entire province and are ignoring the needs of rural B.C.
“Government officials have confirmed that the forest and possibly mining industries will suffer most,” Bernier added. “Our region can’t afford the potential shutdown of the mill in Chetwynd or the mine in Tumbler Ridge simply because the goal of John Horgan’s caribou plan is to simply meet an artificial deadline set by the federal government.”
Hard-working British Columbians deserve better from John Horgan and the NDP.