FREDERICTON – With the Alward Conversatives mired in scandal there will be attempts this week to focus attention elsewhere, say the Opposition Liberals.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of announcement,” said Liberal MLA Victor Boudreau. “Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud and Minister Mike Olscamp have been connected to a very serious case of obstruction of justice. The ongoing trial is causing the Conservatives a lot of grief. It’s unfortunate that it takes a political scandal to finally get some action out of this government.”
Boudreau speculated that the Tories’ long-awaited forestry plan would be announced this week as a means of distracting attention from the scandal. “First they delayed this plan by years so they could announce it in an election year, then they delayed it again recently to distract from this trial. It’s a shame that they keep putting politics ahead of the best interests of our province.”
The Opposition Liberals have called on the Alward Government on numerous occasions to create a plan for the forest sector that would provide stability and predictability, as well as enhance job opportunities and growth. Industry observers have argued that hundreds of millions of dollars in potential investments have been lost due to the government’s inaction.
“This plan should have been in place years ago,” added Boudreau. “Opportunities for investments in the forest sector have been squandered because industry was reluctant to proceed without a clear plan.”
Boudreau criticized the Alward Government for putting its own political interests ahead of the needs of this crucial economic sector.
“New Brunswick relies heavily on the forest sector as a pillar of our economy and as an important contributor to our workforce, employing nearly 12,000 people across the province,” said Boudreau. “It is unacceptable that after nearly four years in power, the Alward Government has yet to release a long-term plan for our province’s forest industry, and worse, that it has been delayed a number of times for purely political reasons.”