President & CEO, Coast Forest Products Association
Working with Our New Provincial Government – For All British Columbians
Coastal forestry in British Columbia is known worldwide as a leader in sustainable forest management. We are a foundational sector that supports our strong, provincial economy. Our sector’s companies are advancing the innovation of new products and technologies. These companies directly provide middle class, family-supporting jobs in coastal communities which, in turn, support jobs in sectors of all types in the streets, stores and high rises of the vibrant cities of Vancouver and Victoria.
Over the last two decades, coastal forestry has collaborated with all levels of government through the worst economic recession since the 1930s, survived, modernized, remained competitive – and now leads the world in green forestry practices and products. Coast Forest would like to thank the premiers, ministers and staff of the Government of British Columbia who collaborated with us during this time. We would not be here today if were not for their commitment to understanding the many complexities of our industry and their dedication to finding solutions.
Today, Coast Forest joins the rest of the province in welcoming our new incoming Premier-designate and government to Victoria. This comes after an unprecedented period in British Columbian politics marred by uncertainty and instability. It also follows an especially difficult time as we face other serious challenges – here at home and on the international front.
Forestry is kicking off the summer of 2017 with a large “to-do” list. In BC, Coast Forest is focused on ensuring that BC’s coastal forestry companies have certainty on the land base, access to volume, and remain competitive in the overall supply chain as a high-cost, sustainable producer in the global marketplace. In the months to come, our government must collaborate with the sector to ensure that policies and initiatives support these three factors while not adding costs and regulatory burdens to these companies.
Internationally, forestry continues to defend its rights in the fifth softwood lumber dispute with the United States. To be successful, we need our new provincial government to work with us to find a fair solution to this dispute that has increased risks to our sector, threatened thousands of British Columbian’s jobs, and compromises the stability of their communities.
The election period is now over and it’s time to get back to the business of collaborating to find solutions. Coast Forest looks forward to working with the new government of British Columbia to realize the benefits of a world class, innovative and climate friendly industry – on behalf of all British Columbians.