KELOWNA (August 1, 2019) – Government needs to look at the social impact of the forestry crisis as much as the economic shock. This is the message that BC Liberal MLAs received today at a forestry roundtable held in Kelowna, just days after Tolko announced a curtailment at its operations in that community.
“I have been travelling to communities across B.C. and the message is the same,” says BC Liberal Forestry Critic and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “People are deeply concerned about their future and they want to know government is listening to their concerns. Unfortunately John Horgan and the NDP are missing in action on the frontlines of the forestry crisis and something needs to be done now.”
The Kelowna roundtable comes one day after the family-run Sinclar Group announced it is being forced to curtail its operations in Fort St. James, Vanderhoof and Prince George.
“We can’t wait while John Horgan’s government remains inactive on yet another mill closure,” says Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission and former forestry minister. “This is a difficult time for everyone and our community needs to know their government is listening.”
“We cannot look at just the industry, we need to recognize the ripple effect these closures will have,” says Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna- Lake Country. “One in seventeen jobs in B.C. are tied to the forestry industry, directly and indirectly. The United Way have already written to Premier Horgan with a request for $3 million so that we can start getting much needed social resources to communities devastated by mill shutdowns. The NDP needs to act before it’s too late.”