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FORSETH – B.C. Liberal government doesn’t even know where rural B.C. is

(Image: BC Govt)

A RECENT B.C. Government News post from Donna Barnett (Ministry of State for Rural Development), indicated, “Province accepting applications to Rural Dividend Fund April 3 — May 31.”

The government plans to provide funding in four different areas:

• Community capacity building
• Workforce development
• Community and economic development … and …
• Business sector development

Quoting the government release, it stated:

“The Rural Dividend was established in April 2016, with input from the Rural Advisory Council, to help small rural communities reinvigorate and diversify their local economies. In its first year, the program has already provided over $24 million in economic developmenly states that;

“Investing in rural communities is a key priority for our government. The Rural Dividend is already making a difference by diversifying the economy and creating jobs in small rural communities….”

Let me say this, Donna: “You live in the Cariboo, and far more than Christy Clark, and the majority of ML’s who all live in the metro Vancouver and greater Victoria areas, you know why rural communities are dying. It’s because of YOUR government!”

Hospitals closed … Forestry offices closed … schools closed. Services that people in larger communities all take for granted, have been eliminated and removed from rural areas of the province. And when it comes to medical care, and education, those are essential services rural B.C. not only deserves — they are necessary for its existence.

You have ripped out the life-blood of small town rural B.C. and, as a result, more and more people are having to leave.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL you are allowing to happen.

There are examples everywhere, but the most recent just happened down the road from where I reside (Kamloops), and that’s in Merritt.

In December, Tolko closed a sawmill, in the community, that provided several hundred well-paying jobs — jobs that their workers could actually raise a family on. Ainsworth stated that there wasn’t enough lumber to continue operations there but there certainly seems to be enough that they can log it, ands ship it elsewhere.

That didn’t sit well with Merritt Mayor Neil Mendard, who recently told Steve Thomson (Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources), “[That timber is] ours and we feel very strongly that it should be staying here.”

The Merritt Herald story went on to quote Menard saying that the government should introduce a law to fix the problem:

“They need to come back with something in legislation that does not allow timber to leave this area that was feeding and producing lumber for our mills. It goes back to the old adage; if it’s here, it should be produced here and it should be sold here as a finished product.”

Without jobs … real jobs … not those created through government manipulation such as the Rural Dividend Fund, rural communities will continue to decline.

Here’s something, however, that should concern every rural B.C. resident. Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberal government does not even know where rural B.C. is!

Another Yeah For Us government news release, from March 3, stated:

“With the release of Building on our Rural Advantages, the Province is also making targeted investments that will benefit rural communities throughout B.C., including Chilliwack…”

INCLUDING CHILLIWACK?

I’m sorry to have inform Chilliwack Liberal MLA John Martin of the obvious, however his community would NOT be considered part of rural B.C. by ANY stretch of the imagination. But then, that just goes to show why the real rural B.C. is in such a bad state of affairs.

Sad indeed!

In Kamloops, I’m Alan Forseth.

Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada, the B.C. Reform Party and the B.C. Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.

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About Mel Rothenburger (4280 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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