Liberal leader focuses on forestry during visit to North Island riding

WatchWith one week left in the B.C. election, foresty was the focus of the B.C. Liberals and all the other parties on Saturday.

With one week left in the B.C. election, foresty was the focus of the B.C. Liberals and all the other parties.

On Saturday, party leader Andrew Wilkinson was back in the North Island riding, where he spoke about the importance of forestry as he was surrounded by logging trucks.

Wilkinson told a crowd of truckers that the months-long Western Forest Products strike was an example of how the NDP failed forestry workers.

“If you’re in Port McNeill, you watched coffee shops shut down permanently. You watched people’s trucks get towed away. You watched people lose their homes and what did the NDP do for those eight months? They did nothing,” he said.

Saturday’s visit marks the second time Wilkinson has stopped in the North Island riding during the campaign and in what could be a sign that the race in the riding could be tight, NDP leader John Horgan is expected to make his first stop in the riding on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Norm Facey, the Liberal candidate for the North Island, said the NDP have failed the riding for years.

“The NDP failed this riding so badly in the last two-three years, specifically in the last year,” said Facey.

But Michele Babchuk, the NDP’s candidate for the riding, said her party did what they could to end the strike and says adding-value will improve the industry’s future.

“We’re working to ensure a lot of the local processing is coming back into the local communities and that waste wood fibre is showing up in the mills that are not running at full capacity,” said Babchuk, who is also a former school board trustee and municipal councillor.

Foresty was also the focus for B.C. Green leader, Sonia Furstenau, who laid out the party’s forestry platform in Metchosin on Saturday.

“We can not continue to liquidate our natural resources for the benefit of shareholders of massive corporations while continuing to shed local jobs in our communities across B.C. as mills close,” said Furstenau.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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