Old Growth Deferrals Hurts Value-Added Sector Hardest

BC Government’s decision to halt harvesting is devastating news for British Columbia’s value-added wood processors and the thousands of people they employ.

“The BC Government’s harvesting deferrals will have an immediate and disproportionate impact on BC’s value-added sector,” said Brian Menzies, Executive Director of the BC Independent Wood Processors Association. “This decision is completely counter to the BC Government’s goal of transitioning the industry from high volume to high value.”

“Unfortunately, the BC Government has chosen to make this devastating decision without understanding how this will impact the small- and medium-sized businesses that do not have tenure and must purchase their raw materials on the open market,” said Menzies. “The BC Government has yet to undertake a social-economic analysis to understand how this decision will impact the lives of the men and women who work in this sector and there is no policy supports to help transition the value-added industry.”

“Value-added wood processors will be further hurt by the government’s decision to immediately end old growth harvesting in their BC Timber Sales program, the only opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses to directly acquire timber,” said Menzies. “I don’t understand why the BC Government has not thought this through and created a transition period for the most adversely affected sector, BC’s value-added wood processors.”