John Rustad

Victoria: John Horgan and the NDP continue to ignore the BC Liberals’ calls for action as the forestry sector slides deeper into crisis.

Despite an ever-growing list of shift curtailments and complete shutdowns of mill operations across the province, Finance Minister Carole James announced on Tuesday the NDP has ruled out any new funding to assist the province’s forest sector – instead, offering only her sympathies to workers.

“The workers, families and communities suffering as a result of John Horgan’s complete failure of leadership need tangible relief, not sympathy,” says Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Critic and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “John Horgan has sent out his finance minister to deliver the bad news and meanwhile, he won’t even answer his phone. This is an insult to workers in my community who deserve better.”

“Last week the BC Liberals wrote John Horgan with a five-point list of immediate actions government could take to help stem the flow of job losses in the troubled sector, and he ignored it,” says Small Business Critic and Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “We need John Horgan to immediately step up and engage the federal government to secure financial support for forestry workers, contractors and businesses. The industry is in a free fall and people need more than just sympathy.”

So far in 2019, there have been at least 88 weeks of operational downtime announced at various mill operations throughout B.C. In addition there are now five permanent closures, significant shift reductions and hundreds of millions of board feet curtailed.

Sympathies from John Horgan and the NDP don’t cut it. Hard-working B.C. families struggling to deal with this crisis deserve action, not words.