LACK OF ACTION ON RAIL BLOCKADES CONCERNS NEW BRUNSWICK FOREST SECTOR
Fredericton & Feb. 20 – Forest NB believes it imperative to weigh in on the matter of ongoing rail and other infrastructure blockades taking place in various parts of the country. We are very concerned with the lack of action being taken to ensure a timely end to these blockades. Protests originating with the Wet’suwet’en are now entering a third week and now impacting the legitimate operation of forest product manufacturing in the province.
“Our industry and undoubtedly that of other manufacturing sectors are facing a serious situation with regard to the ability to ship finished products to market and receive essential input materials to produce our products,” states Mike Legere, Executive Director of Forest NB which represents the majority of forest product manufacturers in the province. “Thousands of jobs and purchase contracts are now in jeopardy if this disruption of rail and port service should continue beyond next week. Even with immediate action it will take a week to work through the back log of inventories stranded at ports and loading yards.” added Legere.
Our business’ have long-standing, respectful relationships with Indigenous communities. We support working with indigenous peoples and having clear open dialogue and working towards middle ground. In addition to disrupting domestic and global supply chains, the blockades undermine Canada’s reputation as a dependable partner in international trade.
Forest NB acknowledges the right of the Wet’suwt’en to peacefully protest. We do however trust that the rule of law will be upheld and respected by all parties in this dispute and that a return to normal access to our vital transportation infrastructure will be re-established and allow a return to normal commercial activity.
We call upon our elected federal representatives in New Brunswick to advocate on behalf of the 24,000 persons dependent on the forest sector for their livelihoods and also for all New Brunswickers who are now realizing hardship. We demand that the provincial and federal authorities with jurisdictional responsibility effect their legal authority to terminate all unlawful protests and that the federal government take immediate action to move forward any legitimate Wet’suwe’ten complaints with adherence and respect for due process.
For more information, visit forestnb.com
Forest NB has been the voice of New Brunswick’s wood products industry since 1957. Renewal, prosperity and relationships are our cornerstones.
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