VANCOUVER (January 8, 2020) – The longest labour dispute in the history of B.C.’s forest industry has now dragged past the six-month mark as John Horgan and the NDP continue to turn a blind eye and refuse to intervene in the escalating crisis. Coastal communities dependent on forestry are beginning to suffer irreparable damage as the strike between the United Steelworkers and Western Forest Products continues with no sign of any resolution on the horizon.
“The NDP government has a moral obligation to step in and end the suffering of coastal forestry workers, their families and their communities before any more permanent damage is done,” says Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and BC Liberal Forestry Critic. “There are a number of options government could exercise right now but instead, entire communities are being forced to suffer as a result of their inaction.”
In late December, forest workers and community representatives met with Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson and North Island MLA Claire Trevena to share stories about the suffering families are experiencing throughout some of the hardest-hit communities of Port McNeil and Port Hardy. Despite repeated pleas for action, the NDP still refuses to act. To make matters worse, Premier Horgan and Labour Minister Bains raised expectations that a solution would be found before Christmas.We have yet to hear from Horgan who has been disappointingly absent on this issue and a number of others.
“The Minister of Labour has a responsibility to get people back to work,” says MLA John Martin and BC Liberal Labour Critic. “This government can no longer sit on the sidelines and simply watch as entire communities fall apart. There’s no time left for any more excuses and Labour Minister Bains must intervene and get people back to work immediately.”