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Deepak pans reforestation funding announcement

NDP candidate in Prince George-Mackenzie Bobby Deepak.

Prince George-Mackenzie NDP candidate Bobby Deepak says $150 million in reforestation funding is not a solution to problems facing B.C.’s forests.

Premier Christy Clark announced Friday, during a stop in Prince George, that the province will give $150 million for the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia. Victoria formed the society last year, with an initial injection of $85 million, with the mandate to advance environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests and advocate for the environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests. The funding, according to the government press release, is to advance environmental stewardship and, in particular, focus on reforestation initiatives throughout the province.

Clark hailed the funding as a way to fight climate change.

Deepak says the Liberal government has neglected B.C. forest for 16 years.

“They’ve failed to undertake reforestation and silviculture, mill after mill has closed and they have ramped up raw log exports to the detriment of manufacturing,” Deepak said in a Facebook post. “Yes, our forests definitely need a massive commitment – a commitment not coming from the BC Liberals. What we have from this government is neglect over many years and no long term plan that we can see and discuss. To haphazardly dump a bundle of one-time money into forestry is not a solution, it is simply convenient just right before an election.”

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