KAMLOOPS (June 27, 2019) – In the midst of an industry crisis, John Horgan and the NDP are failing to consult with local First Nations on forestry issues impacting their communities.
“The Simpcw First Nation wants to open a dialogue with NDP over Canfor’s proposed $60 million sale of forest tenure to Interfor following the closure of the Vavenby sawmill,” said Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar. “Yet Chief Shelly Loring’s attempts to contact Horgan’s forest minister have been completely ignored.”
“Chief Loring has repeatedly attempted to contact NDP Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson regarding the tenure sale agreement, but he won’t return her calls,” added Milobar.
NDP Forests Minister Doug Donaldson was also responsible for botching the public consultation process on caribou recovery that has left communities deeply divided in the northeast region of the province.
“The Simpcw First Nation deserves meaningful consultation with the NDP on a crucial matter like this and the fact Donaldson is ignoring the Chief and the community is absolutely shameful,” said Milobar. “The government has a duty to consult, and yet we find the minister hiding underneath his desk and afraid to engage the communities he is responsible for.”
Milobar has written to Premier Horgan and asked him to intervene and at the very least, return Chief Loring’s phone calls.
“Every day it seems we hear about more mill curtailments, closures and job losses that directly impact forest-dependent communities across B.C.,” said Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “The permanent closure of the mill in Vavenby will have a ripple effect in our region and yet Minister Donaldson keeps sitting on his hands, ignoring First Nations and local communities and doing nothing to fix this crisis.”