Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok says the situation with the forest industry is dire and government must step up and do something, or at least try to do something.
This follows the recent announcement of production cuts and temporary mill closures across the province.
READ MORE: BC lumber layoffs
Clovechok says he doesn’t lay the blame for the current crisis at the feet of the NDP government, but he does expect them to try to address it.
“You can’t lay this at the feet of the government. When you look at the entire situation, it’s a perfect storm. You’ve got an extremely weak U.S. market, extreme weather events and wildfires, years of beetle infestation. The government didn’t create this but John Horgan is saying there’s nothing they can do.”
Clovechok believes there are a number of things the province can do to begin addressing the problems in the forestry industry. He says the province should be reaching out to the federal government.
“I would suggest that we immediately form a Forestry Competitiveness Committee to start looking at what we can collectively do.
“And the Softwood Lumber Agreement. John Horgan promised two years ago that he would have a deal. He’s accomplished nothing and is doing nothing to move it forward.”
Clovechok also suggests reducing stumpage fees and eliminating the carbon tax for forestry companies.
Clovechok says it is an emotional situation and his Columbia River Revelstoke offices are receiving a lot of phone calls from people who are scared.
“We’ve got mills in Radium, Revelstoke, Golden, Skookumchuk. But it’s not just a problem in my riding or rural ridings. There are five mills in Langley East. It’s a provincial crisis.“It’s time for action,” he said. “Stop throwing your hands up. We need to fight for the forestry industry. It’s dire and it’s going to get worse. The leader of the province saying there’s nothing I can do is not acceptable. If we (BC Liberals) can come up with five or six immediate actions, why can’t they?”