QUESNEL (May 11, 2019) – Coralee Oakes, BC Liberal MLA for Cariboo North, issued the following statement on the Tolko sawmill closure:
“The announcement yesterday by Tolko Industries on the permanent closure of the Quesnel sawmill is devastating news for the 150 employees, their families, contractors and small businesses in the community who rely on the mill.
“The BC Liberals have been raising the warning signs in the BC Legislature with John Horgan and the NDP who have failed to listen or take any meaningful action.
“In fact, rather than work with forest companies such as Tolko, John Horgan is forcing ill-advised policies on the industry, communities and workers who depend on it.
“Bill 22, their latest mistake, puts ideology ahead of what’s best for the hard-working B.C. families who depend heavily on the sector, by creating division within forestry-dependent communities.
“These measures will guarantee only one thing, which is that our high-paying forestry jobs will leave B.C. for other jurisdictions like the United States– and it’s clearly already begun.
“As Tolko rightfully pointed out, the industry is currently facing serious economic challenges with the highest production costs in North America, the continued impacts of the mountain pine beetle, a housing market slowdown and the continued softwood lumber dispute.
“Quesnel and all B.C. forestry-dependent communities need our government to show they care about them by immediately pressing pause on Bill 22, coming to Quesnel and telling the community how they intend to help the soon-to-be 150 workers who have just lost their livelihoods.
“John Horgan doesn’t seem to get that life is not affordable when you lose your job.
“BC Liberals will continue to fight against John Horgan’s divisive policy agenda and stand up for hard-working British Columbians and the forestry jobs that their families depend on.”