BC Liberals’ forest strategy encourages Asian markets

To the editor,

Author Bo Bennett  wrote a dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement and Premier Clark’s BC Jobs Plan keeps on fulfilling its goal simply by achieving.

If you are in the forestry bizzz or have a business or job that benefits from this sector, there is exciting opportunities ahead.  Last week, Forestry Minister Steve Thomson reported at a Gorman Bros. Lumber mill tour in Westbank that the BC forest industry just got a big boost!  As part of Premier Clark’s BC Jobs Plan, the ministry released our government’s Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia.  The strategy will build on and grow six priorities “planted” by the Working Roundtable on Forestry to support a more vibrant and globally competitive forest products industry that will support employment in every part of the province.

The strategy encourages markets in Asia to make B.C. forest products their first choice in building materials it will increase demand for lumber and strengthen the forest sector. Gorman Bros. Lumber is one example of a forest company that stands to benefit from this focus on market diversification as they export 28 per cent of their production overseas to countries such as Japan and Korea.

The strategy will enhance B.C.’s forestry advantage with actions that support the wood-first commitment, growing trees, carbon storage, a competitive operating climate, innovation, diversification, rural economies, and First Nations’ participation. The strategy calls for new applications and expanded use of wood construction in non-residential and mid-rise buildings.

Ongoing investment in reforestation, silviculture activities, and forest carbon projects will result in fast-growing forests to address timber supply challenges created by the mountain pine beetle infestation. B.C.’s forest sector will continue to transform and innovate to meet the need for green energy and help build the bio-economy. The forest sector strategy also involves continued opportunities for community forest agreements, the woodlot program and helping First Nations move forward as partners in forestry.

John Allan, president and CEO, Council of Forest Industries said: “We’re pleased to see the provincial government has developed a strategy that will fully leverage the strengths of the B.C. forest sector. It builds on our reputation for sustainability, and encourages competitiveness, investment and innovation — which are key to building the sector.”

They say that success breeds success and our government’s Job Plan continues to fulfill its commitments by enabling British Columbians and their families to succeed and live in this amazing place.

Doug Clovechok
Columbia River Revelstoke BC Liberal candidate

For more information on the forest strategy: www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/