Macdonald critical of new B.C. jobs plan

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA and NDP forest critic Norm Macdonald is speaking out against the BC Liberal government's latest job creation plan.

COLUMBIA VALLEY — Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA and NDP forest critic Norm Macdonald is speaking out against the BC Liberal government’s latest job creation plan.

Macdonald says the plan, announced by premier Christy Clark over the past week, doesn’t focus enough on forest-dependent communities in the Southern Interior and on Vancouver Island.

“Only by increasing the number of jobs we get per tree we cut down can we actually grow jobs in forestry,” said Macdonald in a release.

“Any jobs plan that doesn’t present a strategy to increase the value we get out of our forests will just continue the failure that is the legacy of B.C. Liberal forest policy.”

Macdonald added the government should have invested in forest health, which could include tree planting and silviculture initiatives.

It should also seek to limit its raw-log exports — which Macdonald notes have been on the rise in 2010 and 11 — to preserve wood processing jobs in the province.

Promoted as a plan to bring “new money” to B.C., Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan would see eight new and nine expanded mines operate in the province, recruitment of international students increased by 50 per cent, wait times for permits and other approvals slashed, and multi-million dollar rail and port upgrades.