The economic crisis reflects a massive government failure to respond to an inevitable and obvious crisis. In a 2004 column, I wrote about the job losses when the pine beetle wood was harvested.
The crisis would challenge any government. There are no easy routes to economic diversification to replace a core industry, or retraining for its workers.
But the federal government's response has been anemic, given the scale of the disaster. The province's Pine Beetle Action Plan has been hopelessly inadequate, especially in terms of economic development. The provincial government has failed to warn workers that their jobs will end, and missed opportunities to take bold action.
All despite the fact that this disaster has been unfolding in slow motion, in plan sight.
Update: Simpson has the document, now declared secret by the government, at his website here.