Black Press files

BC Liberal MLAs call on Horgan to stand up for forestry workers

Cariboo and Nechako MLAs say Horgan has been silent in face of Northern B.C. mill closures

B.C. Liberals are once again throwing punches at the NDP government over the plight of forestry workers in rural areas of the province.

In a press release issued today (Nov. 27), Cariboo and Nechako MLAs are calling out Premier John Horgan for his “silence” as the forestry industry suffers with reduced timber supply.

“Every day we are seeing more and more jobs vanish in rural and northern British Columbia with mill closures due to a shortage of timber supply,” said Rural Development critic and Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “I see Premiers Notley and Ford making a lot of noise on behalf of people threatened with either temporary or permanent lay-offs and yet our Premier chooses silence rather than demanding answers and support for the families here in B.C. facing tough times.”

Mills across Northern and Interior B.C. have been forced to close or reduce shifts due to the timber shortage.

West Fraser announced Nov. 13 that it would be permanently reducing production in both its Quesnel and Fraser Lake sawmills as of Jan. 14, 2019, to better align its output with available fibre.

Tolko’s Questwood Division in Quesnel also curtailed operations as of mid-October due to market conditions, and Conifex in Fort St. James announced it will shut down for at least four weeks as of Monday Nov. 12. Canfor in Prince George has curtailed its sawmill production as well.

“When rural B.C. industry suffers, so do our communities,” said Small Business Critic and MLA for Cariboo North Coralee Oakes. “Places like Quesnel and Williams Lake depend on workers and their families to support them. Small businesses like logging contractors, truck drivers, welding shops are all affected when a mill closes or is curtailed.”

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations critic and MLA for Nechako Lakes John Rustad said the Liberals are “disappointed that we have heard nothing from the NDP on any plan to meet with the federal government to ask for support for the mass layoffs due to mill closures this fall.”

In an interview with the Observer earlier this month, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development Doug Donaldson said the NDP government is merely picking up the slack from the Liberals, and pointed to the NDP government’s funding for forestry-sector revitalization initiatives, including projects in Quesnel.

Donaldson said he is headed to Korea, China and Japan in early December with B.C.’s forestry sector leaders to further efforts to diversify the market.



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

World-class carver prefers the simple life

His work can be found in galleries around the world, but Kevin Peters prefers the quiet life.

RCMP respond to 105 calls in six days

A couple of RCMP case highlights from the last week

No one injured in home invasion shooting on Back Valley Road

The incident was related to a legal cannabis grow op on the property so there is no threat to public

Fire hose testing, pump refresher successful

South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department pressure-tested all of the department’s spare fire hose.

#SNAPANDWIN photo contest ends October 6

Enter now by posting selfies at participating businesses

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read