SURREY (September 17, 2019) – In the face of ongoing mill closures and reduced shifts, Surrey’s BC Liberal MLAs are expressing their disappointment at today’s NDP forestry announcement, saying John Horgan and his government are completely ignoring the Lower Mainland forestry workers affected by this crisis.
“It’s been weeks since the forestry crisis reached the Lower Mainland, but John Horgan has been silent about how he plans to support the local workers facing job losses,” says Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey South. “The NDP is finally starting to acknowledge that there is a crisis in B.C.’s Interior. But what about the 500 mill jobs at risk in Surrey, or the 150 jobs lost in Maple Ridge? These workers depend on British Columbia’s forestry industry just as much as those in rural B.C.”
In addition to the challenges facing the central and southern sectors, British Columbia’s coastal forest industry has been struggling, with downtime and shutdowns announced in Surrey, the Fraser Valley, and on Vancouver Island. On September 3, Interfor announced it would close its Hammond sawmill in Maple Ridge – putting 150 workers out of a job. Last week, Teal-Jones announced it would immediately halt all coastal logging operations, putting up to 800 jobs in jeopardy.
“Today’s announcement confirms what we already knew: John Horgan has made up his mind that there are too many mills in B.C., and he is going to focus on getting people out of the industry rather than helping them succeed,” says Tracy Redies, MLA for Surrey-White Rock. “The fact that the NDP failed to even mention the Lower Mainland in today’s announcement – or say anything about the unique challenges facing coastal producers – shows just how out of touch this government is. B.C. needs a government that will keep workers working throughout the province – not one that will show them the door.”
A comprehensive list of mill shutdowns and closures under the NDP in 2019 is below.