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WHITEHORSE – Following media reports last week of the continued lack of permits and firewood in the territory, Energy, Mines, and Resources critic Scott Kent is calling on the Liberal government to address their errors and properly work with the Yukon’s forestry industry to get more firewood in the hands of Yukoners this winter.
The Yukon Wood Products Association brought the looming firewood shortage to the attention of the Minister and other MLAs last June due to a lack of permits issued and insufficient supply for the winter.
“The Liberal minister is clearly not listening to Yukoners and Yukon firewood providers,” Kent said. “The government has been well aware of this issue since last summer and we requested on multiple occasions that he take action. Late permitting and a critical lack of firewood demonstrates that he ignored the warnings and has no idea of the real challenges that Yukoners are facing to stay warm or make a living cutting and delivering firewood.”
Last week, the minister conducted media interviews that laid blame for the firewood shortage on producers’ equipment, the cold weather, and decisions in another jurisdiction, but claimed that Yukon permitting was not a contributing problem to lack of firewood supply. Contrary to the Liberal Ministers’ assertions, multiple members of the Yukon Wood Products Association, including the president, have indicated the Yukon is out of wood because of a lack of permitting last summer.
“The minister needs to meet and actually listen to industry representatives,” said Kent. “He has left Yukoners to fend for themselves in frigid temperatures. He needs to take action now to alleviate current supply concerns and ensure the territory will not see a similar shortage next winter.”