B.C. Government Announces $90Million Towards Manufacturing Jobs

The B.C. government has created a $90 million fund for manufacturing jobs to support the forest sector. Premier David Eby announced the B.C. Manufacturing Jobs Fund that targets rural forestry communities at the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) convention in Vancouver on January 19, 2023.

 

This new fund is designed to diversify local communities and economies, promote innovation in the forest industry and create thousands of high-paying jobs for the community. “We need to get more good-paying jobs from our forests and every resource in our province,” said Eby. “The investments we are making in rural B.C. will help do that by supporting companies to get into the business of creating value-added products, like mass timber. Our whole province benefits when local workers and their families can build good lives in the rural communities they call home.”

Several hundred people in the forestry sector lost their jobs due to cuts and curtailments in the province in recent months. This investment will be contributed over the span of three years through the fund. In addition to supporting high-value manufacturing projects and industrial projects, this investment will drive clean and inclusive growth in remote Indigenous communities.

One example of a project that could receive funding from this investment includes a forestry company and its purchase of equipment to develop new timber products. Another example would be an enterprise exploring paper-based alternatives to plastic processes. “In B.C., our economic advantage is our people,” said Brenda Bailey, minister of jobs, economic development, and innovation. “As our natural resource sector transitions, our government is investing in local economies to provide new opportunities that will create jobs and ensure long-lasting prosperity for people throughout our province.”

The announcement was given by Eby at the B.C. Natural Resources Forum, an annual event of the industry and political leaders held in Prince George. This comes a week after Canfor declared the curtailment of its pulp line at a local mill, which will result in the loss of 300 jobs by the end of the year. The premier explained how he is planning to meet with workers affected by the struggles of the sector and the downturn of the industry.

In an interview that Eby had on CBC Daybreak North, the premier addressed statements made by union representative Chuck LeBlanc placing blame for the cuts in part on the B.C. government’s choice to temporarily defer logging in roughly one million hectares of forest while the government decides on an old-growth management solution.

This new investment is part of the Forest Worker Community Support initiatives and the StrongerBC Economic Plan’s effort to build self-reliant and thriving communities. The fund comes after an additional $185 million support package was announced in the Budget 2022 to ensure that optimal supports are set in place to offset the economic impacts of an evolving forestry industry.

 

 

You might also like