How would your party diversify the economy if the forest industry declines ?
That questions was posed to the candidates in Cariboo North at last night’s all-candidates forum at the College in Quesnel.
Liberal Coralee Oakes says that is already happening as she has been meeting with economic development stakeholders regularly over the past 18 months.
She says 15 projects have been identified to diversify the economy…
“Those projects are going through the strategy. On the Agriculture front some exicting things are heppening, on mining recently an announcement with Barkerville Mining so that will create jobs. In total when this plan is done we have the opportunity to create 2,600 new jobs in this region.”
Scott Elliott, representing the NDP, accused the Liberals of not preparing for the future drop in the annual allowable cut…
“The forest industry, we know our cut is coming down, and we’ve known this when beetle kill came here and still the BC liberals have no forestry plan. Am I prepared to give up ? Absolutely not. We can stop the export of raw logs. We’re going to curtail the export of raw logs and bring them up back here.”
BC Conservative Party candidate Tony Goulet says that technology is changing the way things are going and we need to invest and tap into that market as well as advocating for rural communities.
And Green Party candidate Richard Jaques says that diversity starts with working with First Nations.
He says the Liberal Government has been irresponsible on that front and because of it industry has come to a complete stop.
Jaques also suggested taking advantage of value-added product that is left on the ground by moving pellet plants closer to the fiber supply.