Progressive Conservative Lands and Forestry critic Tory Rushton wants answers for the thousands of forestry families whose livelihoods are at a standstill.
For the fourth week in a row, the PC caucus has written a letter to the government (letter attached) asking the following questions:
- How will the transition team measure its actual results, and how will it ensure that it reports its progress to the public?
- How and when will funds be allocated and distributed?
- How can eligible individuals access the fund?
- What supports are available for those who do not qualify for this fund?
“I’ve been working with forestry workers non-stop since the decision was made on December 20, 2019,” says Rushton. “We’re hopeful these questions get answered soon so families can start to plan for their future.”
In its second request, the PC Caucus is hopeful the Premier can provide the conclusions of an internal committee he referenced in February 2019.
“The Premier said he established an internal committee to develop a ‘plan B,’ and that the team was to look at long term options for the industry as well as the Northern Pulp pension and retraining programs,” says Rushton. “Many of us are wondering what came from that committee and expect the government to share that work.”
Rushton says his number one priority is jobs and livelihoods.
“Too many families are worried about their future, and as elected officials we need to do everything possible to help them,” says Rushton. “Let’s work with the industry to figure it out.”
The PC Caucus also wants answers about the role the federal government will have. South Shore-St. Margaret’s MP Bernadette Jordan stated in an interview on January 7 that the federal government had not been approached for financial assistance for forestry industry solutions.
“Why hasn’t the government reached out to the feds for help?” asks Rushton. “We should be working with all levels of government and all possible partners in this situation to get the best possible outcome for these Nova Scotians.”
The forestry industry is vital to the economy, and the PC Caucus believes we need to do everything to keep it running.