BC: About-face on log exports

Wednesday 30 Jan 2019

British Columbia government plans to change log export laws- The British Columbia Premier has announced policy reforms to rebuild coastal forest sector - Plans are in the works to rebuild the wood and secondary timber industries in British Columbia by ensuring more logs are processed in the province, said Premier John Horgan last week.

The forest sector revitalisation plan will be done through incentives and regulation changes, he said in a speech at the annual Truck Loggers Convention last Thursday.

The policy changes include increasing penalties for late reporting of wood waste, and reducing the waste by redirecting it to pulp and paper mills.

The actions will reverse a systematic decline that has taken place in the coastal forest sector over the past two decades, he said, adding the plan will be implemented through a series of legislative, regulatory and policy changes over the next two years.

More timber can be processed here in B.C. and to accomplish that the government will reform raw log export policy, discourage high grading and curtail the export of minimally processed lumber, he said.

This will be a phased-in process and will apply to new sales through B.C. timber sales programs, he said.

“For too long the vision for our coastal forest sector … was to ship our natural resources somewhere else,” he said.

Employment on the coast has declined by 20 per cent, lumber production has dropped by 45 per cent and pulp production by 50 per cent while log exports from Crown lands have increased by nearly tenfold, impacting communities profoundly, he said.

These policies are not going to be accomplished by the stroke of a pen or a magic wand but by hard work, he said.

“To continue on the track that we are on with respect to leaving too much waste in the woods and shipping too much product offshore without any value added to it is not sensible and it's not sustainable.”

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Source: The Globe and Mail

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