NDP forestry minister continues to dither as another BC mill shuts down permanently

VICTORIA (November 8, 2019) – The BC Liberals are once again calling on John Horgan to finally fire his inept forestry minister Doug Donaldson after today’s announcement that the Tolko lumber mill in Kelowna will close for good next January.

“125 more forestry workers will now be out of jobs in January after over two years of inaction from John Horgan and his forestry minister in the middle of a crisis,” said MLA John Rustad, BC Liberal Opposition Forestry Critic. “Hard-working British Columbians in one of our province’s most important industries are struggling to put food on their tables after years of curtailments, shutdowns, and closures. How bad does this crisis have to get under the NDP before John Horgan finally fires this inept minister?”

Under Minister Donaldson’s watch this year, British Columbia has seen 104 curtailments and shutdowns, including what now amounts to 10 permanent or indefinite closures and thousands of job losses.

“I share the anger of the workers here in Kelowna who expected their government to act sooner and more decisively,” said Ben Stewart, MLA for Kelowna-West. “Instead the NDP just sat on their hands and did nothing to stop to the closure of a mill that’s been in our community for over 80 years. Last June, the BC Liberals presented John Horgan with a five point plan to get the industry back on track and save jobs. That advice was ignored at the cost of permanent job loss in our community.”

“Never in the history of this province have we seen a government just turn its back on so many hard-working British Columbians who desperately need their support. Workers and families are having to fundraise to pay for groceries while John Horgan and Doug Donaldson continue to ignore the crisis. It’s like they’ve already given up on the forestry sector,” concluded Rustad.

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