The New Brunswick government is pushing ahead with its controversial forestry plan, despite increased criticism from scientists and university professors across the province.

More than 180 specialists signed an open letter on the matter, suggesting the plan was formulated without consultation, it threatens conservation efforts, and it will have questionable economic benefits.

“The scientific community across the province are saying this does not line up with science whatsoever,” says forestry instructor Rob Cumberland. “We know that very clearly. It does not line up with what department staff had said years ago.”

The news came on the same day the government, once again, teamed up with forestry giant J.D. Irving to expand operations in New Brunswick.

The premier dismissed the criticism, saying he’s entirely confident in the plan.

“The work going on here is first class science. It has leading scientists from across the country. Innovation that has taken place in New Brunswick,” says New Brunswick Premier David Alward.

Under the forestry plan, J.D. Irving has promised hundreds of millions of dollars will be spend on mill modernization around New Brunswick, and hundreds of permanent jobs will be added to the industry,