FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Yesterday, September 17, the Provincial Government announced that it would be investing $69 million to support forest workers impacted by mill closures and curtailments.
Following the announcement, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Forests, Ravi Kahlon, is on tour meeting with community leaders, workers, and contractors to provide more details on the provincial investment.
Lately, the B.C. Liberals have been critical towards the NDP claiming that the Government has no interest in rebuilding the forest industry.
Kahlon says the Liberal’s claim is ludicrous as they would have seen a report from 2015 that commissioned the closure of 13 mills.
He says the Liberals could have informed workers of this plan in order for them to prepare, instead of burying it and dealing with the issue now.
“I would say that’s ludicrous. In 2015, the B.C. Liberals, many of the ministers, would’ve seen the report that they had commissioned that said that there was going to be 13 mills closed. Imagine if that report had been made public at that time, instead of being buried, communities, workers, and families would’ve had time to prepare for this outcome. Instead, we’re dealing with it as it comes.”
The B.C. Council of Forest Industries had also released their own plan to help out the forest industry, and Kahlon feels that there are a lot of good points made within their plan to fix the ailing industry.
Kahlon says the Provincial Government will continue to talk with communities and workers to create a solution for the long term.