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

Just Posted

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

New Seven Sisters replacement confirmed

Mental health facility will have 25 beds, up from 20 in current facility

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Healthcare travelling roadshow aims to inspire high school students across B.C

Over 2,000 youth in different rural communities will be visited through this project

Gallery: Project Heavy Duty inspires students into it’s 32nd year

The event is a collaboration between SD91 and industry in and around Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

Most Read