BC Liberal MLA says his former government’s inaction led to current challenges in forestry: NDP

PRINCE George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said on Wednesday that mismanagement by the B.C. Liberals put both old growth trees and forestry jobs in peril, according to a press release by the NDP.

Morris was asked by CBC host Carolina de Ryk about the potential jobs impact of yesterday’s forestry announcement. He said: “Yeah, that is a tragedy and that’s something that should have been looked at decades ago to make this more sustainable.”

Morris also noted that when he served as Parliamentary Secretary for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, “I was shocked, quite frankly, at the degradation of habitat that I saw.”

For years, the B.C. Liberals refused to address the looming challenges in B.C.’s forest industry as 30,000 jobs were lost and dozens of mills closed. At the same time, they failed to support impacted workers or help communities diversify their economies to get off the boom and bust cycle.

They also buried a 2015 report that warned about looming job losses.

The NDP said its government has a plan to better care for old growth while securing innovative forest jobs for future generations.

Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said: “For 16 years, the B.C. Liberals refused to address looming challenges in forestry. Their failure to take a sustainable approach or plan for the future has put forests at risk and workers and communities in a more difficult position today. We’re taking a different approach by addressing these challenges directly. Our long-term vision means taking care of our oldest forests, building meaningful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples, and securing innovative forestry jobs for generations to come.”