John Horgan

Vancouver: While making his first foray “North of 50” in this campaign, the BC NDP’s John Horgan said British Columbia should have signed a softwood deal that would have cost as many as one in three B.C. forest workers their job.

“John Horgan showed again he doesn’t have the temperament to be premier and won’t stand up for B.C. workers,” said Energy and Mines Minister, Bill Bennett. “Premier Christy Clark looked at the deal and said no, she wouldn’t sign a bad deal just to get a deal. Horgan would have signed and that would have meant 20,000 forestry workers out of work across the province. The BC NDP clearly aren’t prepared to protect B.C. jobs.”

Last year, the United States Trade Representative tabled a softwood proposal that would have reduced Canada’s share of the American industry from 32 percent to 22 percent over four years. The governments of Canada and B.C. – along with the B.C. forest industry – all rejected this outrageously unfair proposal that would have seen massive mill closures and job losses right across British Columbia.

But when asked by a reporter about the U.S. proposal yesterday in Prince George, Horgan said: “All I know is that there’s two options for Christy Clark. Either she was asleep at the switch or she gambled and she lost. And I think in either case it’s a hashtag fail for that.”

“It’s clear what Horgan’s strategy would have been: fold and walk away from the table. Once again we see the true nature of John Horgan – reckless and irresponsible,” said Bennett.

“With the stroke of a pen, John Horgan and the BC NDP would have devastated communities from Surrey to Nanaimo to Prince George.”

Since the introduction of the BC Jobs Plan, British Columbia has added almost 10,000 more forestry workers – which leads the country in terms of growth by a wide margin.

“Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberal team are the only party with a plan to protect and grow the economy,” said Bennett. “Premier Clark won’t give up on forestry workers like Horgan has, she will continue fighting for a deal that makes sense for B.C. workers. Forestry workers can count on us to defend them.”