Plan for B.C.’s Forest Sector
COFI CEO Susan Yurkovich, BC Wood Chair Rob Mitchell, MLA Shirley Bond, Minister of Forests Steve Thomson and MLA Mike Morris unveil plan – photos 250News
Prince George, B.C. – Forestry is facing some challenges, with the expected announcement of a reduction in the annual allowable cut and companies facing increasing costs to harvest and transport product as fibre supply becomes more difficult to access. Today, the Province announced a multi-phased plan to increase competitiveness and boost value added forestry companies.( click on image at right to access the complete plan)
The plan has 48 strategic actions to advance the three goals of the strategy:
- Healthy resilient forests
- Diverse, globally competitive industry
- Support stable communities and First Nations partners
The plan specifically outlines steps to improve the health of the forests, to boost the value added sector and actions to revitalize and transform the pulp and paper sector.
- Enhancing the promotion of B.C. wood products globally
- Promoting new wood-construction technology to global markets and developing non-traditional uses of wood and wood-pulp fibres.
- Advancing opportunities for forest carbon management and promoting greater use of lower-value wood and wood residue in support of the province’s climate leadership goals.
- Investing in timber supply and restoring forests impacted by the mountain pine beetle and wildfire.
- Strengthening timber-supply data using state-of-the art technology to provide a completely updated forest inventory by 2023.
- Maintaining healthy forest ecosystems that support values such as fish and wildlife ecosystem biodiversity, clean water, recreation, fibre for forest products, and forest carbon storage.
- Continuing to enhance First Nations’ participation in the forest sector, and encouraging business-to-business relationships between First Nations tenure holders and forestry firms.
- Creating more trades and training seats at post-secondary institutions, targeting funding for occupations in demand.
Forestry is credited with providing $8.8 billion dollars to the Province’s GDP and $1.7 billion dollars in tax revenue last year. There are 65,500 people employed directly in the sector, and more than 140 rural communities depend on forestry.
MLA Shirley Bond say while BC’s forestry exports last year represented 38.1% of Canada’s total forest sector exports, there will be increased effort to develop new markets in both India and Vietnam.. “Forestry may not be the dominant force that it once was” says Bond ” But it is still an absolutely critical component of our Province’s economic backbone. We can’t turn back the clock and return to the forest industry of yesterday, but we can, and I am very confident that we will, do everything possible to support a vibrant sustainable, globally competitive forest industry that builds strong communities and provides enormous benefits for current and future generations.”
Getting tired of the photo ops and announcements after years of neglect, can tell they are in election mode.
Yup, we heard this four years ago before the last election, hmmm… what happened to those plans? They did not tell us at the time the plan was to retrain all the laid-off sawmill and forestry workers as mills in Houston and Quesnel closed, add to that the two mines (Endako and Huckleberry).
Yup Liberals have plan… LOL
Any positive suggestions from you about what the government should be doing instead?
yup, whale watching inspectors JSTUPID, train them for that.
The biggest issue facing the forest sector today is uncertainty around the expiry of the softwood lumber agreement, and what will happen to our access to the US market, the destination of about 3/4 of our lumber. By mid October we should find out, and it probably won’t be good news. The provincial government has limited ability to influence this issue, and there is no outcome of the US presidential election that would give reason for optimism.
To be fair, provincial governments have little ability to help industries that depend on world commodity markets, be they forestry, mining, agriculture, etc, so we see copper and moly mines closing due to declining worldwide demand, and sawmills closing for a variety of reasons. Governments should try to create business environments where people want to invest and stay invested, and we can judge them on this if we are so inclined. That is a difficult proposition in central BC today.
Great critique and suggestions! I have some Sears and Woodward catalogues from the early Seventies! Most of the merchandise offered is either Canadian Made or Made in USA. We still have some of those quality made items and they seem to last forever! Now, everything is made in you-know-where and it does not last! Perhaps we could do a little soul searching as to why we accept the never ending loss of jobs in the manufacturing industry? This area needs to turn raw materials into manufactured goods rather than exporting everything in raw form together with the jobs and the tax revenue!
“This area needs to turn raw materials into manufactured goods rather than exporting everything in raw form together with the jobs and the tax revenue!”
Exactly what the NDP have been proposing for the last decade, glad you agree, it’s called “value-added” manufacturing.
So exactly what value added products would you suggest making from our lumber? Do you think the forest companies haven’t looked into that? According to one of the former CEO’s of Northwood with whom I’m acquainted, they did just that and determined that it wasn’t a cost effective option. If you have a viable suggestion, I’m sure they’d like to hear it.
Price George:-“Perhaps we could do a little soul searching as to why we accept the never ending loss of jobs in the manufacturing industry? This area needs to turn raw materials into manufactured goods rather than exporting everything in raw form together with the jobs and the tax revenue!”
We might do a little more soul searching as to why every modern industrialised country cannot buy all the goods and services it is capable of producing in any given time period from the total amount of incomes distributed to its citizens from employment in that SAME given time period.
And if they can’t do that now, what good is it going to do to make a glut of unsalable goods even larger? The rate that total costs that flow through into prices are being generated exceeds the rate that total incomes from employment are being distributed. Making more ‘value added’ products does no good unless they can all be sold. And they can’t be under the current financial set up.
Advancing opportunities for forest carbon management and promoting greater use of lower-value wood and wood residue in support of the province’s climate leadership goals.
Now there is a money sucking bunch of BS. Wonder if bunch has even an inkling of any understanding of the ridiculousness of that statement.
For people thinking its great to do our part well China in 18 days emits about the same amount of emissions Canada does in one year and that ration is decreasing.
Its all about empting our wallets for fiberal friends.
Seamutt:”China in 18 days emits about the same amount of emissions Canada does in one year and that ration is decreasing.”
I remember you saying that CO2 is good, the more the better? Does that not mean that China deserves to be applauded ?
Please explain what the “emissions” are that China emits? Isn’t it all good news? Anything to do with the combustion of fossil fuels and the nasty stuffs that are being emitted in the process?
Plans are easy to develop, it’s the execution of the plan that matters. Far too often people focus on the former instead of the latter.
Any plans to slow or even stop the export of raw logs (currently at record volumes) and keep those logs here for processing?
Not a chance. The libs buddies are cashing in on log exports while British Columbians are paying increased taxes for everything while watching the logs pass by closed BC’s sawmills.
When private lots are logged or native lands, the government has no right to tell them what to do with the logs! If they choose to export the logs in raw form – that is what happens!
Not to mention that raw logs must be offered to BC mills before they can be exported. If the mills don’t want them they’re free to export them.
Here’s a thought – all you people who think there’s so much profit to be made from sawmilling should pool your money and build a facility that uses those logs. How could you lose?
Much of the raw log export trade is driven by currency exchange rates and other international manipulations regarding money.
Viewed from a purely physical perspective, there is simply no way it makes sense to believe BC logs can be made into lumber ‘cheaper’ abroad than they could be here.
In the first place, the same ship that moves logs abroad would carry at least three times as much lumber in the same cargo space.
Productivity per man/hour in an average BC export mill is as high, or higher, than most US sawmills. And considerably above that of the best of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean plants.
So any cost advantage of manufacturing abroad is pure financial deception.
Having said that, as a country we are obliged to try to export more than we import. NOT, be it noted, to just pay for our imports, but to make up for an artificial shortage of purchasing power in our domestic economy.
ICBC rates are going up and the libs aren’t taking their 165 million dollar dividend. I’ll vote for them. I just threw up.
Smoke and mirrors BS!
What a bunch of BS. Shirley wont have to worry about about markets in India and Vietnam because it will not be long until we will not have any wood to ship. They can’t even look after the trees that are already planted.
Yes c02 is good and required for life on earth. My comment was meant to be sarcastic for expounding about doing our bit. For those mistaken about c02 and doing our bit, our, their bit means nothing, nothing at all. Besides there is no virifible, provable science showing how man’s miniscule c02 contribution affects climate if any at all. Heck, natural c02 effects is a wildcard.
Now all over the world energy prices are drastically increasing by the false premise of decreasing fossil fuel generation for very expensive undispatchable unreliable wind and solar generation.
The rising energy costs are forcing manufacturing to China, India. Kiss the west goodbye.
Don’t have time to get into this subject at this time. Suffice to say that we are going into an election.
As a matter of interest there were 70 sawmills closed in BC since the year 2001 with the loss of some 36000 jobs. We also closed a few pulp and paper mills during the same period.
Without a softwood lumber agreement, and a decline in sales to China, the US stands to knock us out of the market. Perhaps that’s why Interfor, West Fraser, and Canfor have bought so many mills in the USA.
Between the three of them they have purchased some 36 lumber mills in the last 10 years.
Currently, logs can be exported if deemed “surplus to domestic needs”, a practice which encourages companies to “close mills, put people out of work and export logs rather than make forest products here at home” … “When sawmills turn round logs into rectangular lumber pieces, tonnes of wood chips and sawdust are generated. Historically, that so-called “waste” fed pulp mills such as Harmac. Now, B.C.’s dearth of sawmills means that Harmac is forced to get nearly 600,000 cubic metres of wood per year — roughly one third of its total raw material needs — from running whole logs directly through giant chipping machines. The practice is expensive and represents a huge loss in potential forest industry jobs in B.C. Instead of logs first being turned into lumber products at mills where hundreds of people could be working, and then shipping the so-called “waste” from those sawmills to pulp mills, massive numbers of logs are exported, forcing companies into the uneconomic and wasteful practice of directly chipping logs.” http://theprovince.com/business/ben-parfitt-heres-how-cutting-log-exports-could-create-b-c-jobs?__lsa=6152-3392
Northern and coastal communities were sustained for over 100 years by the forest industry but the BC Liberals mismanagement has killed those good paying jobs and they brag about creating part-time service industry minimum wage jobs in the lower mainland while places like Houston, Mackenzie and Golden etc. are shadows of what they used to be.
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