Skip to content

Fingers pointed at Victoria for Prince George Pulp and Paper closure

Mike Bernier. Facebook photo
Mike Bernier

BC Liberal forest ministry critic Mike Bernier is putting the blame for Canfor’s closing of Prince George Pulp and Paper squarely on the shoulders of the provincial government.

Canfor announced the closure earlier this week, citing reductions of allowable annual cuts, which have been artificially high to cut mountain pine beetle killed trees, and accessing cost-competitive fibre. The closure means the loss of 300 jobs.

“The situation in our forestry-dependent communities is dire, and this second-term NDP government has failed to come to the table with solutions,” Bernier said in a news release. “No solutions for the industry as a whole, and no solutions for workers and their families.

“Calls for action and substantive policy suggestions from the BC Liberal Caucus have been ignored by this government for years.”

He added the closure “requires a concerted focus and commitment from government with tangible supports made available on the ground immediately for the families impacted and a plan forward for forest sector workers and forestry-dependent communities that addresses a range of NDP policies that have unnecessarily exacerbated strains on the industry.”

Jobs Minister Brenda Bailey has asked her ministry’s community transition team to provide support to the community and co-ordinate an in-community response to ensure supports are in place for workers and families impacted by the closure.

“Government is also working collaboratively with the B.C. Pulp and Paper Coalition, and has acted on many of its recommendations to improve fibre access for pulp mills,” she said. “We have renewed funding for the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia, introduced the Coast Fibre Recovery Zone, and put in place new timber pricing policies and waste penalties for fibre left in the bush.”

In addition, Prince George city councillor is also putting the blame for the closure on the provincial government, however more for its decades-long policy of allowing raw log exports.

“Our provincial Government needs to take a serious look at the methods in which our forestry industry operates and how we manage our fibre supply,” he posted on his Facebook page. “We simply can’t afford to have our raw logs be exported, leaving folks like those employed at valuable jobs like this left behind. When dealing with our own natural resources, there needs to be a focus placed on creating jobs for British Columbians and not just profits for folks taking our resources elsewhere to be processed.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *