VANDERHOOF (July 18, 2019) – As B.C. forest workers continue to lose their jobs and communities like Fort St. James declare a state of local financial crisis following a sawmill closure, John Horgan and the NDP continue to do nothing as hard working rural B.C. workers suffer.
Today, John Horgan actually had the audacity to launch a survey that will run until October 11th, gathering ‘public feedback’ on the Interior forest sector which the NDP has totally ignored.
“News flash John Horgan – the forest industry is in crisis now. For the NDP to declare their intention to sit on their hands until the middle of October is completely unacceptable and downright insulting,” says John Rustad, BC Liberal Forestry Critic and MLA for Nechako-Lakes. “The mayor of Fort St. James is pleading for immediate assistance and this government launches a public relations campaign. It’s absolute nonsense.”
The BC Liberal Rural Caucus has written to John Horgan and outlined a number of immediate steps his government could take to help the industry cope and recover. BC Liberal MLAs representing affected communities have suggested the Province engage with the federal government to establish supports and new opportunities for workers, and set up a forestry competitiveness committee to look at longer-term solutions for the industry. But so far their ideas have been ignored.
“John Horgan is out there telling these workers to take some time and fill out a survey – how ridiculous. Instead of taking action to resolve this crisis and get these folks back on their feet,” says Rustad. “The industry needs short-term relief and resources now, as well as a concrete vision for the future— but it’s not getting it from this government.”