Minister Donaldson attends Forest Ministers meeting; requests support from Federal Government

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Forest Minister, Doug Donaldson, was in Saskatchewan on Wednesday for the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers meeting to meet with Federal Representatives to discuss British Columbia’s ailing forest industry.

At the meeting, Donaldson says he talked with Federal Representatives to discuss the possibility of the Federal Government providing support for workers and communities that are being affected by sawmill closures or curtailments.

Lately, the opposition has been criticizing the Ministry for not taking action on supporting those affected by the closures, but Donaldson defends that his ministry has been taking action on the issue.

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Donaldson says they wanted to get a firm handle on what the needs are before requesting Federal support.

“We have been taking action in the communities, from my ministry and we have a cross-ministry deputy minister’s committee in the province, but what we wanted to do is get a firm handle on the variety of needs that workers have in the communities before we ask for these targeted interventions from the Federal Government.”

As for the future of Forestry in B.C., Donaldson says he sees a bright future for the sector which will require diversification away from the traditional commodity production to a more untraditional bio-economy.

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