Liberals need to act to prevent firewood shortage

May 22, 2014

NDP Natural Resources Critic Sterling Belliveau says the province could be facing a firewood shortage if the Liberal government doesn’t take immediate action. As a result, Belliveau is calling for an emergency meeting of the Resources Committee to be held as soon as possible.

“In the past few weeks I’ve met with a large group of firewood suppliers who are unable to get access to hardwood to fill their orders for next winter,” said Belliveau. “If this issue isn’t resolved in the next few weeks in many parts of Nova Scotia there won’t be an adequate supply to meet the home-heating needs of hundreds of families.”

Belliveau says although it’s only May firewood needs to be cut and stored now so it will be dry in time for fall.

“In years past, firewood harvesters were given access to both private and crown land in order to collect firewood,” said Belliveau. “That isn’t happening this year and, if it doesn’t change soon, a number of small independent businesses could go out of business.”

Belliveau says it’s up to the government to find a solution to the issue. He’s been told that firewood producers have met with staff from the Department of Natural Resources but with little success. As a result, he’s hoping the members of the Resources Committee can work together to find a reasonable solution.

“What’s needed right now is leadership, which I’m hoping members from all parties on the Resources Committee can provide,” said Belliveau.

Belliveau introduced a motion at a Resources Committee meeting today requesting an emergency session. The Liberals denied the motion. Belliveau says he is hopeful the Liberals will reconsider their decision and hold an emergency meeting as soon as possible.