BRITISH Columbia, Canada’s largest producer of softwood lumber, has been left out of the federal government’s high-level trade meetings in Washington thanks to Premier John Horgan’s absence, say the BC Liberals.
“The NDP is missing in action on the forestry file once again. The Deputy Prime Minister and five provincial premiers will be discussing American tariffs on softwood lumber all while British Columbia sits on the sidelines and John Horgan just doesn’t seem to care,” said John Rustad, BC Liberal Forestry Critic and MLA for Nechako Lakes, on Wednesday. “This is a slap in the face to every unemployed forestry worker in our province. It’s inconceivable that other premiers are making this trip and the leader of the largest producer of softwood lumber can’t find the time.”
British Columbia’s forestry sector is reeling. Last year alone saw 10 permanent or indefinite mill closures and over 10,000 job losses in B.C’s forestry sector, all while the NDP did nothing to help workers or the industry.
“Why does John Horgan not care enough to be on a plane to Washington right now to stand up for thousands of British Columbian forestry workers and their families in the middle of a crisis?” said Rustad. “Back in 2017, John Horgan promised he could solve the softwood lumber dispute with one trip to Washington, D.C. and now he’s nowhere to be seen. He needs to stop hiding, own his mistakes and get on that plane.”