Stone demands action, answers for north island forestry workers

VICTORIA (November 22, 2022) – Opposition Forestry Critic Todd Stone says the NDP government must act quickly to protect the livelihoods of forestry workers on the north island.

“A delegation had to come down to Victoria from Campbell River today to press a variety of issues and try to get answers, because North Island NDP MLA Michelle Babchuk has been missing in action,” says Stone. “If their own NDP MLA won’t hear them out and provide assurances she is working to help them, then it’s time for Premier David Eby to step in and provide them with the fair solutions and certainty they are seeking.”

One of the major issues the north island forest workers are raising pertains to the woodlot license program, which maintains community-friendly forest tenures and sees licensees managing a small portion of provincial forest. Licensees are concerned about crippling government policies meant to mitigate issues that woodlots did not create in the first place — issues they are confident they can manage within their sustainable and small-scale operational unit. They fear the NDP’s goal is to get rid of the program entirely.

“If the NDP government does intend to dismantle this important program, they should be up front and honest with these operators. But so far, MLA Babchuk and the Minister of Forests have been virtually silent on this issue,” says Stone. “Forestry is a vitally important industry to B.C.’s north island, and the hard-working people in these communities deserve strong advocacy and a bright future. So far, they’re not getting it from MLA Babchuk or the NDP government.”





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