Budget cuts of $35 million to forest health will hurt the forest industry, says Kathy Kendall, Kamloops-North Thompson NDP candidate.
“The BC Liberals have been neglecting the forest industry for 12 years, but the decision to cut $35 million in forest health is going to hurt the industry even more,” she said. “We need to be planting more trees and supporting the industry, not making cuts.”
These cuts come in the wake of reports from the Auditor-General and Forest Practices Board that say the government has failed to sufficiently invest in B.C,’s forests, Kendall said. She believes that investing in forests and planting more trees is key to the long term health of the forest industry.
“The BC Liberals have the wrong priorities,” she said. “These cuts come at a time when the BC Liberals are spending millions in taxpayer funds on ads to try to get themselves re-elected. Why not invest that money in planting more trees?”
“Bad decisions like this are why people are ready for change in B.C. The NDP recognizes the importance of the forest industry, and we’ll make reinvesting in our forests and planting more trees a priority.”
The recent resignation of prominent Timber Export Advisory Committee member David Gray also highlights the BC Liberal failure to support jobs in forestry, Kendall said. Gray, a sawmill owner, resigned last week in protest over BC Liberal changes that will lead to more raw logs leaving the province.