Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston says it’s time for the Premier to step up and acknowledge that his government was not prepared for the extreme impact that Northern Pulp’s closure will have on families and the forestry industry.
“Anxiety levels in Pictou County and around the forestry industry are very high and the Premier hasn’t done anything to address those fears,” says Houston. “Reality has hit. The closure of Northern Pulp has happened and it’s a new world for the industry. Unfortunately, the Liberals have done nothing to prepare for it.”
For the seventh week in a row, the PC Caucus has written to the Liberal government asking common sense questions about the Forestry Transition Team (letter attached.)
Some of the questions outlined in this letter include:
- Clarity on the Transition team objectives and expectations of their progress.
- Clarity on whether the government has considered a response to those constituents that feel that some early access to their RRSPs would be helpful during this transition time.
- Clarity on whether the government will consider shortening the registration renewal to one-month terms during this period of transition. The shortest renewal option for Registry of Motor Vehicles licensing of heavy commercial vehicles is currently three months and this small change could provide a great deal of relief to drivers who must pay expensive licensing fees for longer periods.
“We’ve had little consistency in updates from the Premier and the Forestry Transition Team. Most of the Premier’s comments have been reactionary, rushed announcements,” says Houston.
The Liberals knew this day was coming. They had five years to prepare for any decision the Premier made.
“Unfortunately, the government is either ignoring it or refusing to accept our new reality,” says Houston. “This is a crucial time for the forestry industry and they feel in the dark.”
Two weeks ago, the PC Caucus wrote to sixteen departments. To date, only one department has responded.