BC Liberals slam government for not coming up with solutions for forest industry

BC Liberal Critic for Forests Mike Bernier on Thursday said that the news out of Prince George that the pulp line at Canfor’s Pulp and Paper Mill will be shut down in late March is devastating to countless families. More than 300 workers, and many other indirect jobs will be impacted by this decision.

Bernier said in a statement: “My heart goes out to the workers and their families who had this dropped on them yesterday, with most now wondering what they’ll do for work in two months’ time.

“The situation in our forestry-dependent communities is dire, and this second-term NDP government has failed to come to the table with solutions. No solutions for the industry as a whole, and no solutions for workers and their families.

“[Premier] David Eby has admitted that the industry is facing unprecedented amounts of stress and yet one of his first orders of business was to disband the Cabinet Working Group on Forestry.

“Calls for action and substantive policy suggestions from the BC Liberal Caucus have been ignored by this government for years.

“While we recognize there are changes and reforms necessary in the forest sector, this government’s failure to consult and plan for the future of the industry has let down British Columbians.

“After nearly six years of NDP failures on forestry, people have no faith that this government has the willingness or ability to tackle the situation.

“This requires a concerted focus and commitment from government with tangible supports made available on the ground immediately for the families impacted and a plan forward for forest sector workers and forestry-dependent communities that addresses a range of NDP policies that have unnecessarily exacerbated strains on the industry.

“Anything less is a failure of this NDP government’s responsibility to British Columbians. People deserve so much better.”

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