Houston: Forestry industry still waiting for clarity

As Nova Scotia’s $2 billion forestry industry tries to come to grips with its future, it's critical that the Liberal government work with the Forestry industry as well as with all elected officials, says Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston.

“The Forestry transition team is trying, but they need guidance from the highest levels of government. That’s supposed to come from the Premier, but we’re not seeing that,” says Houston. “On behalf of Nova Scotians, I’m trying to get answers from the Premier, but it’s been extremely difficult.”

For the ninth week in a row, Houston wrote to the Premier about the uncertainty created in the forestry industry. The Premier has advised Houston that he will no longer provide responses to his correspondence. (Letter attached)

There are dozens of questions that haven’t been answered, many ideas and suggestions have gone unaddressed, tons of partially answered questions need clarification and new questions have arisen. Unfortunately, the Premier is shutting out thousands of Nova Scotians.

“The questions are sincere and important, and those seeking answers are hard-working men and women impacted by the forestry sector,” says Houston. “The fact that so many questions remain unanswered in the two months since the Premier’s Northern Pulp announcement says a lot about their team’s preparation.”

Houston acknowledges that the Premier’s decision on December 20, 2019, created uncertainty, but the focus for everyone should be helping the many families who are impacted.

“I understand that the Premier and the government may feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but we remain willing to work with them,” says Houston. “Thousands of people are worried about their livelihoods. They deserve answers and action.”

Houston says these families worked hard, played by the rules, and still had their industry changed overnight by government.

“Government should be supportive of the industry and these families,” says Houston. “Loaded comments from the Premier are not helpful. We’ll continue to push for concrete action and constructive solutions.”

 

Leader to Premier, February 18, 2020.