THE BC Liberals once again called on Premier John Horgan and the NDP to provide relief to struggling coastal forestry workers after hundreds of workers, contractors and their families rallied outside the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia on Wednesday, calling on government to intervene in the strike that has dragged on for over five months.
“Hundreds of coastal forestry workers who have been out of work for months came here to the BC Legislature to demand action from John Horgan and the NDP so they can get back to work,” said BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson. “These people are losing their homes, vehicles, and ability to feed their families, all while John Horgan once again turns a blind eye to this crisis. In September, forestry workers brought over 250 logging trucks into Vancouver to get the Premier’s attention, now hundreds have gathered outside of his office in Victoria and he still won’t even do so much as open the curtains to his office and face them.”
While Wilkinson and his BC Liberal colleagues greeted and addressed the crowd, Horgan, his Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson, and NDP North Island MLA Claire Trevena were behind closed doors and shuttered curtains just meters away in the NDP cabinet office, said the BC Liberals..
“All these workers came down to Victoria on their own pockets, despite many struggling to put food on their tables this holiday season, because they believed John Horgan would take the time to hear their concerns. Instead, they were snubbed by an out-of-touch NDP government,” added John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes. “The NDP government’s response is absolutely unacceptable. These forestry workers are desperate and they deserve a government that will listen to them, not turn its back on them.”
In June, the BC Liberals presented a five-point plan to Horgan that would have provided relief and recovery for British Columbia’s forestry sector and its forestry-dependent communities. That plan has now been ignored for over six months.
“The forestry sector is critical to our provincial economy and immediate action is required to save the industry and help the workers across the province who are hurting right now,” said Wilkinson. “The entire province is paying for John Horgan’s inaction during this crisis and we fully intend to keep the pressure on until the NDP government finally decides to care about these communities.”
There have so far been 10 permanent or indefinite mill closures and over 10,000 job losses in B.C’s forestry sector this year, noted the BC Liberals.