B.C. minister asks for urgent federal help with forestry sector crisis

B.C’s Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson has hand-delivered a direct plea for federal help in dealing with the cascading affects of the growing crisis in British Columbia’s forest industry.

With some 3,900 workers put out of work, at least temporarily, in 16 communities over recent months, Donaldson wrote to federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi asking for federal support to deal with the “urgent need” for specific assistance.

Donaldson handed the letter to Sohi’s deputy minister Christyne Tremblay Tuesday during the annual Canadian Council of Forest Ministers conference at Waskesiu Lake, Sask.

In the letter Donaldson proposed that his deputy minister John Allan and Tremblay work together on adjusting Employment Insurance eligibility requirements for laid-off mill workers, developing early retirement incentives, and establishing worker transition offices.