BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson spoke to media in Prince George on a number of topics during a tour stop - Photo Courtesy of Brendan Pawliw, My Nechako Valley Now
The fragile state of BC’s forestry sector was on the mind of BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson during a brief stop in Prince George.
He made the trek to the northern capital on Friday following tour stops in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.
Earlier this month, Tolko announced a permanent closure of its Quesnel sawmill putting 150 people out of work – this is a major concern for Wilkinson.
“I think all of us in British Columbia are concerned about these curtailments and mill closures, they are happening all across the province especially in the north and it’s a real worry as we need to figure out what the mid-term timber supply is going to be so that people can plan their lives.”
Wilkinson also blasted Premier John Horgan and the NDP government for there lax approach on the industry.
“It’s a changing industry in British Columbia and having people from Victoria with no experience in the north dictating the future of the forest industry is not going to work.”
The party leader also teed off on whether or not municipalities like Prince George deserve a bigger piece of the pie when it comes to legalized cannabis sales.
He thinks the buying process for consumers has been anything but smooth.
“Cannabis sales have been a bit of a mess because the lawful sale of cannabis is mostly being done online and in a half-dozen outfits in the province so the black market is still thriving quite obviously and we need to get on top of that.”
“It is a legal product and it needs to be sold in a legal and structured way.”
When asked if municipalities should get a 50/50 cut on cannabis, Wilkinson responded by saying the issue centres around compliance and enforcement costs and who is going to pay for that.
He adds this is not a new problem but is something that should be funded out of the proceeds of cannabis sales.
The BC Liberal Leader also went on to say communities like Prince George and the Cariboo need to fireproof their communities so that a repeat of the last two record-breaking wildfire seasons does not happen again.
Wilkinson finishes his tour in Williams Lake where he will meet with the BC Cattlemen’s Association.