Graham promises alternative forestry jobs
Pilot project would examine viability of berry, fiddlehead harvesting
Last Updated: Saturday, September 11, 2010 | 3:57 PM ET
New Brunswick Liberal Leader Shawn Graham announced Saturday that a Liberal government would try to create new jobs in Upper Miramichi based on forest products other than trees.
"We have to start thinking in new and different ways about creating jobs for the future in rural New Brunswick," he said. "Forestry has been the backbone of our economy since the province was formed. But we have to start thinking about our forests as more than just trees."
He said a pilot project would examine the commercial viability of gathering and processing non-timber forest products such as fiddleheads, berries and maple syrup.
"There are also opportunities for recreation and tourism in our forests," Graham said. "We believe there are opportunities here, and this pilot project will help us determine that."
Graham said he will unveil the full Liberal platform Tuesday morning in Moncton, before televised debates begin.
He said job creation will be the "cornerstone" of his campaign, and will be critical for the province's future. New Brunswick's unemployment rate hit 9.6 per cent in July.
"Our plan for the future includes exploring every opportunity for job creation so we can provide better health care and senior care and keep our kids home," Graham said.
He said the cost of creating jobs will be laid out.
"I think it's important to put a responsible plan on the table. As I've indicated during the campaign, our initiatives have been properly costed," he said. "Our plan will create jobs to pay for health and senior care. And our plan will be affordable."
Graham challenged Progressive Conservative Leader David Alward to do the same with his party's platform.