VANDERHOOF (August 2, 2019) – Fed up with no action on the part of John Horgan and the NDP to deal with the crisis in the forest industry, mayors representing 21 municipalities and regional districts throughout British Columbia are now appealing directly to the federal government to step in and help their communities impacted by job loss.
“The fact mayors have decided to go it alone without the support of the provincial government speaks volumes to the fact that John Horgan and the NDP are doing nothing in what is being described as the worst crisis in the forest industry in the past 40 years,” says BC Liberal forestry critic and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “Seven mills have shut down in just the past few months and NDP forest minister Doug Donaldson appears content to just sit back and watch it all happen.”
Yesterday members of the BC Liberal Caucus held a roundtable in Kelowna to hear from displaced forestry workers and small businesses impacted by mill closures. It is part of a province-wide consultation with communities that are dependent on forestry and deeply impacted by mill shut downs.
“We need an immediate plan to deal with forest workers not eligible for federal benefits,” says Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “It’s vital that we also have a plan in place to assist small businesses and independent contractors cope with the sudden loss of income as a direct result of a mill closure.”
Yesterday forest minister Doug Donaldson showed up for a photo-op in Quesnel but failed to meet with displaced forestry workers or offer any solutions. Instead Donaldson is relying on his newly appointed parliamentary secretary from the lower mainland, Ravi Kahlon, a party-insider, to figure a way out of the NDP’s failure to deal with the crisis.