KELOWNA – NDP leader Adrian Dix unveiled a forestry plan that was most striking for its lack of policy detail – except for a commitment to growing the size of government.
“We’ve been for waiting for a long time for the NDP to actually tell people what they are going to do and that was missing today,” says Forests Minister Steve Thomson. “The NDP’s forestry critic Norm Macdonald told said we wouldn’t see any details of their plans until after they “have a mandate,” it is clear from today’s photo-op that we will still have to wait for details.”
“Today’s photo-op by Adrian Dix was just re-announcing promises. The only new detail Dix revealed is a promise to recreate the 1990s Jobs Protection Commissioner, which forestry workers will need under an NDP government just like they did last time.”
Under skills training, Dix again talked the talk but offered no specifics about what he would do.
Under log exports, no mention of what actions and NDP government would take and how many people currently working in the forests would lose their job. And telling there was no mention of his leadership promise to introduce “a major increase in the provincial fees levied on raw logs.”
Under their $100-million a year forestry health plan, Dix again failed to tell British Columbian’s how they would pay for it.
“After months of delay, I think British Columbians were expecting more,” said Thomson. “We’ve offered a detailed plan – whether its skills training, the BC Jobs Plan or our forestry plan. People know we’re about growing the economy and now we see the NDP are about growing government.”
While Dix did endorse the BC Liberals commitment to opening new markets, the NDP’s record tells a different.
“The NDP created the Jobs and Timber Accord and we lost 13,000 jobs and they created the Forest Practices Code that cost industry more than a billion dollars,” says Thomson. “We’ve taken a different approach and are working with industry. In particular, working to diversify our markets and as a result we’ve seen B.C. forest product sales clear $3 billion in 2012, which means a dozen mills are operating almost entirely because of exports to China.”