Premier Christy Clark made a stop in Williams Lake at Pioneer Log Homes Friday morning to talk about the Liberal’s plan to fight for forestry workers and forest dependent communities.
Clark who was joined with supporters and Cariboo-Chilcotin Candidate Donna Barnett says the fact that the annual allowable cut because of the pine beetle is going down is why Barnett fought so hard and got in place the rural diversification fund in place.
“So that’s $100 million going to small rural communities that are forest-dependent and it’s also the work that we did on the forest enhancement fund. So that’s $150 million dollars and about 3,000 jobs in planting and renewing our forest. That’s supporting rural British Columbia through what we know is going to be a tough time.”
Clark says the only reason that they can do that is because the province’s economy is really strong in lots of other areas and that rather than going into a deficit they have surpluses that they can spend and deliver back to communities.
“The number of jobs is growing in the province. We’ve got 220,000 since we started the jobs plan. We need to make sure people are trained to take those jobs and we want them to be trained where those jobs are made,” Clark added saying there will be more investments in TRU in Williams Lake.
Clark was also asked about the concerns of Likely residents on treated water from the Mt. Polley mine being discharged into Quesnel Lake.
“Everything that is being done in the area is being done on the best science possible. Nothing will be done to degrade the lake or to diminish its’ quality, certainly nothing that would harm the people around the lake. Yes, we want to get the 130 odd people back at the mine working. I think lots of people there want that. At the same time though we are determined to protect the lake.”
Clark said before departing for Quesnel in her tour bus that she was deeply troubled about the two suspicious deaths that occurred at a residence on North Mackenzie Avenue on Tuesday.
“This is a great community to live in, nobody wants that here. So our guns and gangs strategy has for years have been focused in the lower mainland. What we’ve done is the guns and gangs strategy now has a specific focus for the area up here in the Cariboo and specifically thinking about Williams Lake and the region around it.”
Clark says $2 million dollars has been invested directly to support a community initiative that would fight gang activity has made quite a bit of progress, and that a specific group in the guns and gang task force has been put in place focused on Williams Lake. She says two prosecutors are now in the province who are only focused on guns and gangs.
“What happened here is proof positive that gangs are not just in the lower mainland. They’re in other parts of the province and we’ve got to nip it in the butt. That’s why we’ve made the investments specifically in Williams Lake. It’s the first non-ubran community outside of Vancouver or Kelowna where we’ve really made this major investment.”
Clark was at the West Fraser Sawmill with Cariboo North Candidate Coralee Oakes this afternoon in Quesnel. She’ll be with other BC Liberal candidates in Prince George later tonight.