Coastal loggers to quiz candidates

Logging and roadbuilding equipment awaits auction on Vancouver Island in the fall of 2009. Coastal logging has begun to recover since the low point that saw some companies fold or consolidate due to poor market conditions.

VICTORIA – B.C. Liberal candidates have been invited to the Truck Loggers’ Association convention in Victoria Wednesday for a discussion about the future of the coastal forest industry.

Premier Gordon Campbell will make his final address to the 68th annual convention at a noon luncheon on Wednesday, and Forests Minister Pat Bell starts the day with a morning forecast for the continued recovery of coastal logging and international markets.

The TLA is made up of independent logging contractors on the B.C. coast, and the picture has brightened from 2009 when membership fell from a high of 550 companies to 400, mostly due to companies consolidating or closing. The recovery is thanks in large part to log and lumber exports to China.

TLA executive director Dave Lewis says at the 2009 low point, only half of the annual allowable cut on the coast was being harvested. That has recovered to about 75 per cent of the allowable cut, reflecting a nearly 10-fold increase in Chinese purchases since 2003.

Leadership candidates George Abbott, Mike de Jong and Moira Stilwell are expected to take part in a natural resources forum hosted by the TLA Wednesday evening at the Victoria Conference Centre. Kevin Falcon and Christy Clark have prior campaign commitments, although Falcon intends to attend part of the two-day convention.

With less efficient coastal sawmills unable to compete on price for dimension lumber with B.C. Interior and foreign producers, the TLA has long advocated easing rules on log exports. Federal rules call for a “surplus test” in which logs must be offered for sale to domestic producers before being exported, and sold domestically even if the price is lower than the export price.

The practice has been a focus of U.S. producers in their long series of trade actions against Canadian log and lumber prices.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A philanthropic twist on Fernie’s Australia Day festivities

Various local businesses hosted events and fundraisers for the Australian bushfires

The FSA Gumball Challenge back for round two

The snowmobile event will cover hundreds of acres of terrain

Fernie SAR responds to injured skier

Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) was activated on January 27 after receiving… Continue reading

International Snow Science Workshop coming to Fernie

World leaders in the snow industry will be flocking to Fernie in… Continue reading

Teck donates land to Elkford Housing Society

The land donation ceremony took place on January 16

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read