Originally published on thetyee.ca, read the full story at https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/02/27/Raw-Logs-Lost-Jobs/
Its members include the most powerful players in the province’s forest industry, companies that do the vast majority of logging on British Columbia’s coast. Its website boasts of “innovative, high-tech” companies whose workers turn out “a growing array of forest and wood products.”
But in truth, members of the Coast Forest Products Association are far from the job creators they could be.
While forest industry manufacturing on B.C.’s coast stagnates, CFPA member companies, including the huge corporations TimberWest, Western Forest Products and Interfor, collectively ship millions of cubic metres of raw, unprocessed logs out of the province each year — a practice the association claims will increase profits, which may one day lead to investments in new sawmills. Included in the export mix are logs from old-growth trees harvested on Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii, the Nass Valley in northern B.C. and up and down the province’s coast, including in the Great Bear Rainforest, B.C.’s much-touted showcase for coastal forest conservation and “ecosystem-based” logging.
Since 2013, the year Premier Christy Clark led her government to re-election, almost 26 million cubic metres of raw logs were shipped from the province, with a combined sales value of more than $3.02 billion. No government in B.C. history has sanctioned such a high level of valuable raw log exports on its watch, or been so silent about the consequences.
Last year nearly 6.3 million cubic metres of raw logs left the province. Had those unprocessed logs been milled in B.C. instead, an estimated 3,650 more men and women could have been working in the province’s neglected forest sector. Moving up the value chain and making even higher value forest products would have added even more jobs to the tally.
read the full story on The Tyee website at: https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/02/27/Raw-Logs-Lost-Jobs/