BC Liberals slam NDP government for ‘a continued lack of leadership on forestry’

BC Liberal Critic for Forests Mike Bernier responding to the announcement of the intended closures of Canfor’s sawmills in Chetwynd and Houston on Thursday slammed the NDP government for “a continued lack of leadership on forestry.”

He said in a statement: “Only two weeks after the news of the pulp line closure in Prince George, Northern B.C. has been hit by two more devastating mill closures, this time in Houston and in my constituency in the district of Chetwynd.

“The closures will impact nearly 500 workers and their families, and alter the fabric of these small, resource-dependent communities. The news of these closures hits incredibly close to home and my heart goes out to every worker impacted by this heartbreaking news, as they are forced to make difficult decisions about their future.

“Surely, this NDP government does not need any more evidence of the critical situation in B.C.’s forestry-dependent communities. The forestry sector is clearly in crisis, and we cannot continue to watch this second-term government idly stand by as hundreds of people lose their livelihoods and communities are hollowed out.

“Premier Eby and his NDP government have displayed a continued lack of leadership on forestry, choosing to manage the decline of a vital industry rather than taking the steps needed to sustain it for decades to come. Over and over again we have seen the NDP dismiss and ignore rural B.C., and it is everyday people who end up paying the price.

“This is the time for solutions. Tangible action and real supports for the industry, and the people who depend on it, are long overdue. Premier Eby and his NDP government must get serious about presenting a new, clear vision for the future of forestry in B.C. — one that is sustainable, vibrant, and viable for the long term. B.C. will continue to lose vital jobs, and our forestry-dependent communities will remain in a state of crisis, until Eby delivers this kind of leadership.

“I will be heading to Chetwynd today to meet with many of the workers and families who will be impacted by these devastating closures.”