Revitalizing B.C.’s Forestry Sector: $6.49M Boost for Local Wood Manufacturers

The British Columbia government’s recent announcement of a significant investment in the wood product manufacturing sector marks a pivotal moment for the industry. With a commitment of up to $6.49 million through the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF), the province aims to invigorate its value-added wood sector, fostering local economies and securing hundreds of forestry jobs.

Key highlights of this initiative include funding for three capital projects and three planning projects. This strategic move targets the growth and diversification of operations among wood-product manufacturers. By upgrading equipment, introducing new product lines, and establishing new positions while maintaining existing ones, these projects are poised to enhance innovation and long-term sustainability in the sector.

Notably, S&R Sawmills Ltd. is set to receive up to $4 million for expanding its Langley-based D Mill operations. This investment will facilitate the production of higher-quality wood products, emphasizing custom-cut lumber from second-growth timber. The project aims to improve efficiency, minimize waste, and create 25 new jobs, thereby contributing significantly to the value-added forest sector in B.C.

Similarly, Canoe Forest Products Ltd. is set to receive up to $2.25 million for replacing an outdated kiln. This upgrade will bolster their role as a manufacturer of softwood sheathing, veneer, and specialty plywood. Importantly, it will safeguard 205 jobs and enable the company to diversify the species of wood processed, reducing reliance on Douglas fir and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 10% during the drying process.

These investments underscore the vital role urban and rural wood-product manufacturers play within B.C.’s value-added forestry sector and supply chains. The BCMJF remains committed to fostering innovative practices and sustainable growth across the province’s forestry sector.

Other recipients of the BCMJF funding include Paradigm Building Solutions Ltd., BCollective Homes Inc., Kruger Kamloops L.P., and Thompson River Veneer Products Ltd. These companies are set to undertake various projects ranging from automated saw purchase to engineering assessments, all aimed at increasing production capacity, reducing costs, and creating new jobs.

This financial support is part of a series of programs introduced by the province to enhance value-added manufacturing in B.C. These initiatives include the new Value-Added Manufacturing Program established in January 2023 by the Ministry of Forests, aimed at providing a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers. The province is actively collaborating with the value-added manufacturing sector to increase the flow of fibre and expand local production of high-value wood products.

Ultimately, this investment aligns with the StrongerBC Economic Plan, emphasizing the creation of resilient economies through clean and inclusive growth. By supporting B.C.’s manufacturing sector, the government is making strides towards building an innovative, sustainable economy for the people, businesses, and communities throughout the province.

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