Federal MP’s inaction on forestry a study in delaying tactics


by admin on September 8, 2010

By Cindy Duncan McMillan

Our Member of Parliament is hiding behind a feasibility study – again. His government won’t provide assistance to the employees of AbitibiBowater until the study is completed.

The workers from the mill won’t get anything soon, if ever. He has delayed federal commitment to the slaughterhouse in Shawville for over four years despite the endorsement of all the completed studies.

I suppose this is how an experienced politician backs out of saying no. Our MP has been accused of neglecting to help the forestry industry and countered by defending retraining programs.

Can he provide some numbers on just how many foresters have been retrained in jobs of equal stature? Our foresters have spent their life time learning about the bush. If our representative spent time with them, he might learn of alternative means of generating wealth from our forests.

As far as solving the softwood lumber file, I think our Member of Parliament has fallen victim to his government’s philosophy: “If you say a lie, often people will think it’s the truth.”

He didn’t solve the softwood lumber file; he cost us a successful resolution. Our MP left a billion of our forestry industry’s dollars in the United States. A billion dollars the Americans wrongly taxed our wood producers. He was the minister responsible for Quebec and he failed the forestry industry in his riding, in Quebec and in Canada.

Now, the workers of AbitibiBowater have to wait to see whether he’ll help, even though many of them live in his riding and in the Outaouais region for which he is responsible. So the workers didn’t visit his constituency office. Maybe the workers didn’t ask for his help because they believe he wouldn’t provide any?

Our Member of Parliament may think he has political justification for non-involvement, but he has a moral obligation – as a neighbour and as a representative of the people – to help when his help is needed.

Good citizens don’t wait to be asked before they help, they just do it.

Cindy Duncan McMillan, who lives in Farrelton, is the Liberal candidate for the riding of Pontiac.