Black Press files

BC Liberal MLAs call on Horgan to stand up for forestry workers

Cariboo and Nechako MLAs say Horgan has been silent in face of Northern B.C. mill closures

B.C. Liberals are once again throwing punches at the NDP government over the plight of forestry workers in rural areas of the province.

In a press release issued today (Nov. 27), Cariboo and Nechako MLAs are calling out Premier John Horgan for his “silence” as the forestry industry suffers with reduced timber supply.

“Every day we are seeing more and more jobs vanish in rural and northern British Columbia with mill closures due to a shortage of timber supply,” said Rural Development critic and Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “I see Premiers Notley and Ford making a lot of noise on behalf of people threatened with either temporary or permanent lay-offs and yet our Premier chooses silence rather than demanding answers and support for the families here in B.C. facing tough times.”

Mills across Northern and Interior B.C. have been forced to close or reduce shifts due to the timber shortage.

West Fraser announced Nov. 13 that it would be permanently reducing production in both its Quesnel and Fraser Lake sawmills as of Jan. 14, 2019, to better align its output with available fibre.

Tolko’s Questwood Division in Quesnel also curtailed operations as of mid-October due to market conditions, and Conifex in Fort St. James announced it will shut down for at least four weeks as of Monday Nov. 12. Canfor in Prince George has curtailed its sawmill production as well.

“When rural B.C. industry suffers, so do our communities,” said Small Business Critic and MLA for Cariboo North Coralee Oakes. “Places like Quesnel and Williams Lake depend on workers and their families to support them. Small businesses like logging contractors, truck drivers, welding shops are all affected when a mill closes or is curtailed.”

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations critic and MLA for Nechako Lakes John Rustad said the Liberals are “disappointed that we have heard nothing from the NDP on any plan to meet with the federal government to ask for support for the mass layoffs due to mill closures this fall.”

In an interview with the Observer earlier this month, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development Doug Donaldson said the NDP government is merely picking up the slack from the Liberals, and pointed to the NDP government’s funding for forestry-sector revitalization initiatives, including projects in Quesnel.

Donaldson said he is headed to Korea, China and Japan in early December with B.C.’s forestry sector leaders to further efforts to diversify the market.



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read