RUSHTON: Forestry Minister needs to take charge during crucial time for industry

RUSHTON: Forestry Minister needs to take charge during crucial time for industry

PC Lands and Forestry Critic Tory Rushton is demanding that Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin answer critical questions raised by members of the forestry industry.

On Friday, December 20, 2019, the Premier decided not to extend the Boat Harbour Act. Since the announcement nearly three weeks ago, Minister Rankin has not made any public statements regarding the future of the forestry industry in Nova Scotia.

“I’m deeply concerned for the state of our forestry, and the Minister responsible hasn’t said anything,” says Rushton. “I’m not seeing the Minister take charge at this most crucial time for his portfolio and it’s troubling.”

The forestry sector needs a minister and government that are willing to work with this industry as a result of the changes caused by the impending closure of Northern Pulp.

“The government has had five years to come up with solutions and ways to safeguard any blow to the forestry industry in the event of Northern Pulp closing,” says Rushton. “I’m beyond frustrated and concerned for the men and women who work in the forestry industry in this province.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Robin Wilber, President of the Elmsdale Lumber Company, was fired from the forestry industry transition team. At a time when people affected by the Northern Pulp shutdown need transparency and certainty, the McNeil Liberals are eroding confidence in the process with moves like the firing of Mr. Wilber.

“They are not off to a good start. This is just creating more uncertainty and disorder,” concludes Rushton.