Premier Responds to Federal Forestry Aid Package
Prince George, B.C.- Premier Christy Clark has issued a statement in the wake of the Federal Government’s announcement of an $867 million dollar package to aid communities and forestry workers that may be hit by the Softwood Lumber trade dispute.
“We appreciate the leadership the Government of Canada has shown on softwood lumber. Today’s announcement is a result of the work put in by Minister James Carr and the provincial forest ministers on the Federal-Provincial Softwood Lumber Task Force. It demonstrates a firm commitment to Canada’s forest-dependent communities and workers, including the more than 60,000 British Columbians in more than 140 communities throughout our province.”
Clark says the Province will continue to work with Ottawa towards achieving a negotiated settlement with the U.S, but that litigation continues, ” Unfortunately, this process takes time, and workers and communities may feel the impact. The $867 million will help strengthen the forest economy through expanded funding for marketing and innovation, and provide support for workers, if needed.”
NDP leader, John Horgan, who is ready to step into the role of Premier should the Liberals fail a confidence test in the legislature, also welcomes the Federal package “It’s a start” says Horgan “I just want to make sure the Federal Government understands clearly that British Columbia is responsible for over 50% of the softwood lumber trade between Canada and the United States and we are fully expecting that share of this package to come to British Columbia.”
Horgan also says once he becomes Premier, he fully intends to head to Washington to represent B.C.’s interests in the dispute and that he has full confidence in David Emerson, B.C.’s Softwood Lumber Trade Envoy “We have already sent messages to him that we have full confidence in him.”