B.C. Government Setting Aside 10% of Timber Sales to Wood Manufacturers

Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s forest minister, announced that 10% of timber sales would be guaranteed to independent sawmills and wood manufacturers. This will occur through a new program- the BC Timber Sales (BCTS) Value-Added Manufacturing Program for qualifying wood businesses.

The program, however, will be open to manufacturers of other wood products rather than conventional lumber productions. The programs, Ralston said, will help manufacturers of everything from engineered wood products, such as mass timber, to veneers, paneling, flooring, and log homes.

Alongside Brenda Bailey, minister of jobs, economic development, and innovation, Ralston revealed how the program will help achieve B.C.’s objective to create new jobs and get the most value from B.C. forests. Value-added wood manufacturers employ around 16,000 workers in the province’s industry.

Veneer, Panel, and Mass Timber Manufacturers Can Benefit

The announcement was made by Ralston at Coastland Wood Industries Ltd on January 24. The enterprise is not limited to only selling veneer, they also sell peeled cores and plywood and are one of the businesses that qualify for access to logs through the program.

Our government’s vision for forestry is to build a stronger, more resilient industry through value-added manufacturing,” Ralston said. “The reality is we need to do more with less, and that means manufacturing more innovative wood products right here in British Columbia and creating more jobs from every tree harvested.” He anticipates that the processors will help to secure access to around 600,000 cubic metres of wood in an industry that mills between five to six million cubic metres annually. Although this is not a complete solution, it does begin to address ongoing issues that independent sawmills have been having surrounding access to raw materials.

Ralston’s intention is to increase the amount of wood available to manufacturers through the B.C. timber sales program. The provincial government recently announced $90 million in funding for B.C. manufacturing jobs which offers grants to valuable companies in this sector to expand and branch into new products. “There is going to be significant investment in high-value wood manufacturing in the coming decade all around the world,” said Jake Power, president of PowerWood, an enterprise that makes specialized cedar products.“Construction is trending around these greener alternatives. I believe in B.C. that shift can happen here.

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