The British Columbia government is launching a new program that will ensure dedicated access to the provincial timber supply for secondary manufacturers that make value-added products.
Forests Minister Bruce Ralston says the goal is to build a stronger, more resilient forest industry with value-added products such as mass timber, plywood, veneer, panelling and flooring.
The government says in a statement that those products are increasingly in demand as alternatives to carbon-intensive construction products such as cement, resulting in steady job growth in the province.
The statement says the program will be restricted to those facilities that have minimal or no forestry tenure and are approved as a value-added manufacturer.
Figures show overall harvest levels in the forest industry in B.C. have decreased in the past decade, but employment in the value-added sector has grown by about 35 per cent since 2012.
Paul Rasmussen, with the Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association, says they’re encouraged to see the government recognize that a dedicated fibre allocation for the value-added sector is required.