BC forests minister pledges support for coastal forestry workers
By CFI staff
By CFI staff
On a tour of northern Vancouver Island, B.C. forests minister Doug Donaldson released the following statement on government support for coastal forestry contractors and the ongoing labour dispute on Vancouver Island.
“Today, North Island MLA Claire Trevena and I visited Port Hardy and Port McNeill to hear from contractors and suppliers, workers and local mayors and representatives of the regional district.
We have heard clearly throughout this situation – and again today – how incredibly tough this is for contractors, workers and their families, especially at this time of year.
Over the last few months, MLA Trevena has been a strong voice bringing forward the concerns of people in her community to me. I was pleased to accept MLA Trevena’s invitation to come up-Island and hear directly from people who are being impacted. We have heard you and help is on the way.
I told contractors today that we are developing a program that will offer short-term bridge financing to contractors who aren’t parties to the strike whose equipment has been repossessed or are facing imminent threat of repossession. We understand how urgent this situation is for people and are working to get this up and running as soon as possible in January.
We are also talking to the federal government about what help it can provide for forestry workers and contractors.
At the same time, the minister of labour has met with both parties and made it clear that they need to get a deal done so workers can get back to work.
We remain committed to supporting a sustainable coastal forest sector – one that creates and supports good jobs for B.C. workers, sees more B.C. logs processed in our province and gets as much value as we can out of the forests we all own as British Columbians.”