Nova Scotia

Government rules killing forestry: Barrett

A Nova Scotia businessman with more than 60 years experience in the forestry sector says government rules and regulations are slowly killing his industry.

A Nova Scotia businessman with more than 60 years experience in the forestry sector says government rules and regulations are slowly killing his industry. 

David Barrett, of Barrett Lumber Company in Beaver Bank, has written a letter to Premier Darrell Dexter and other political leaders outlining his frustrations.

Over the past few years, Barrett said, his company has seen its workforce shrink from 75 to 40 people.

"I'm angry and the purpose of this letter is to bring the issues to the table, to at least have them discuss it so that they know when they pass a law, they better damn well look at the end result, because there won't be anybody in Nova Scotia working in the forest," he said Friday.

The Barrett family has been in the lumber business since 1926. Through the years the mill grew into one of the biggest in the area. But three years ago, the mill was shut down. The company now manufactures trusses

Barrett said that governments over the years have been simply making it too hard for small lumber companies to operate.

"They don't realize what they're doing, but they're basically destroying forestry and small business in Nova Scotia with all their rules and regulations, Barrett, 72, said. "There are so many of them coming, they're coming from environment, labour, DNR and transportation."

The Barrett family has 65 kilometres of logging roads, and one of Barrett's biggest frustrations is how costly it has become to build them.

"The forestry roads, when they made the rules so strong that it costs more to build an extraction road than what the timber's worth, there's something wrong," he said.

Dexter said Friday that he was not aware of Barrett's complaints, and he said he's not aware of anything his government has done to make life more difficult for anyone working in the forestry sector. 

Barrett said he's met with the leaders of the provincial Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties, and is waiting to see if he will get a meeting with Dexter.

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