President & CEO, Coast Forest Products Association
A Call to Resolve the Disruption at Port Metro Vancouver
The recent disruption by truckers at Port Metro Vancouver is having a significant, negative impact on BC’s coastal forest industry. Coast Forest Products Association (CFPA) represents twenty forestry companies that operate on the coast of BC producing logs, lumber, pulp and paper as well as a growing array of new and innovative forest products for markets worldwide.
We applaud the positive steps made by Minister Raitt with the appointment of Vince Ready, however, the threat of continued port delays with the newly-announced strike are of dire concern to our industry. We are an export-driven industry and our customers in Asia and Europe demand timely delivery of our products.
Tens of thousands of people depend coastal forestry for their livelihoods. In turn, our industry is completely reliant on the dependable and timely flow of our goods through Port Metro Vancouver. Below are key facts illustrating the importance of the free flowing exports through the Vancouver port:
Coastal BC forestry relies on exports
• Overseas markets demand daily shipments of coastal forest products
• We are an export-driven industry with rapidly growing overseas markets
• 38,000 people rely on a healthy coastal forest industry for their livelihoods
• Over 3100 manufacturing jobs exist in the value-added solid wood products sector
• More than 2700 people work in the pulp and paper manufacturing sector
Canada and the province of BC relies on exports
• BC export shipments account for 93% of Canada’s exports
• Lumber exports to Asia are rapidly rising with a 1,500 percent increase since 2003 to China alone
• Lumber exports support mills – in 2012 Chinese exports supported 20 BC mills
If we cannot deliver coastal forest products in a timely and dependable manner through Port Metro Vancouver, we will simply lose our customers to offshore competitors. This will have a disastrous ripple effect that will reverberate through our companies impacting thousands of jobs and lives as well as the stability and economies of our communities and the province.
There is a lot of on the line with this dispute – much more than the livelihoods of those directly involved. This is why the Coast Forest Products Association calls on the truckers, the governments of BC and Canada as well Port Metro Vancouver to find a workable solution to rapidly and definitively end this disruption.