NDP Government Must Consult, Save Forestry Jobs

NDP Government Must Consult, Save Forestry Jobs

EDMONTON, AB: In Northwest Alberta alone over 650 forestry sector jobs are at risk, as well as jobs in guiding, trapping, and associated downstream businesses. The NDP government must consult with local residents to develop a response to Alberta’s caribou situation that does not put people out of work, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.

After first learning of the NDP government’s caribou plan in 2016, northwest Alberta County and Town councillors formed the Northwest Species at Risk Committee. The Northwest Species at Risk Committee’s recent report, that deals with 5 of Alberta’s caribou herds, states that over 650 jobs in Alberta’s forestry sector will be lost, as well as a 38 per cent reduction in the current land base, if the NDP government’s proposed plan goes forward.

“It’s clear that the minister has not been consulting with those affected by the NDP government’s proposed plans,” Wildrose Shadow Environment & Parks Minister Todd Loewen said. “Councillors had to take it upon themselves to complete the consultation work the province has neglected.”

Last month, Wildrose called on the Environment Minister to come clean with the NDP government’s response to Alberta’s caribou situation.

“Wildrose has called on the minister to be transparent with her plans,” Loewen said. “The NDP government and the minister alike have refused to do so. The communities and forestry sector workers affected by the government’s incomplete work deserve proper consultation in order to fully assess the impact their plan will have.”