Early retirement incentive program doesn’t help contractors: Rustad
Rustad head shot supplied by the BC Liberals
Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad believes the move by Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson to pen a letter to Federal counterpart Amarjeet Sohi is a step in the right direction but is still wondering why it took so long.
Donaldson’s letter highlighted five points of action including enhancing the Softwood Lumber Assistance Program and adjusting Employment Insurance eligibility.
Rustad told Vista Radio while the early retirement incentive program being proposed is good for some but not all.
“They are helping bridge some people into retirement and helping those with work share and other types of programs, which can be set up through EI federally, those kinds of things can be helpful for some of the employees, but the question is what do you do for the contractors?”
“These types of programs do not work for the contractors that have been really hard hit and this is where the government needs to step in and be able to help in communities and get some opportunities for these contractors so that they can get some work and make their payments so they don’t go bankrupt.”
While the forestry critic is pleased progress is finally being made on this issue, Rustad still isn’t overly happy with the timeline and steps that were taken to get to this point.
“I am happy they have done it but I am confused as to why it has taken them so long to realize that there is a crisis in our forests industry.”
“For families that have been impacted or contractors or communities, any help that comes in will be helpful, it would have been nice had it come months ago though.”
Rustad said at the end of the day, his job is to support his communities and the people living in them, and a lot of them are in need of a helping hand.