The MLA for the Cariboo Chilcotin will in Mackenzie for Thursday’s Mackenzie Matters rally.
“The organizers asked me to come up and speak and to talk about issues in rural British Columbia,” said Donna Barnett.
“As I am the critic for rural development, things that could be done and they’re not being done, how collaboration and consultation is needed, and where’s the Minister.”
Also speaking will be Minister of Forests, Land, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson who has been under immense public pressure to visit communities impacted by the forestry cutbacks.
Event chair, Kim Guthrie said they would like to see Donaldson make a specific announcement that would see the community thrive once again.
“I know that they’re struggling,” Barnett said.
“2008 there was a downturn and there were issues in Mackenzie at that time; there were issues in other parts of the province during the downturn and I know we were in government at the time and we came to the table immediately. But this Minister he waits two months after he was asked to write a letter to the federal government to ask them for help. Especially in a time like this I just sincerely hope that the federal government does come to the table; I know that they did in 2008, but when you write them a letter two months after the fact it could be too late.”
Donaldson said they have been on the ground providing support in communities and coordinating efforts between workers and training/ support agencies such as local colleges, Services Canada, and WorkBC.
“What we wanted to do is to ensure that we got it right from communities and they ask for the federal government,” he said.
“There are a variety of needs and we wanted to make sure that these really specific requests covered those needs, and our experience in the communities allowed us to do that.”