Bob Simpson, Independent MLA for Cariboo North, is hoping the Forest Products Association of Canada’s (FPAC) recently released report The New Face of the Canadian Forest Industry — The Emerging Bio-Revolution will reignite the province’s 2009 promise to position British Columbia as a world leader in innovative and higher-value uses for wood.
The minister of forests introduced the Generating More Value from Our Forests plan in March of 2009, promising the establishment of a wood enterprise centre and a value for wood secretariat to mobilize industry stakeholders, investors, researchers, governments and communities around generating more value from wood and wood residue through furthering manufacturing.
“With today’s report that more B.C. workers are out of work, one wonders if this would have been the reverse if the government had followed through on their 2009 commitment,” Simpson says.
“The FPAC report highlights the fact there is a $200 billion potential global market for bio-energy products.
“This combined with value-added manufacturing has the potential to create hundreds, if not thousands, of new permanent jobs in British Columbia and lead to badly needed investments in British Columbia’s forests, as pointed out by yesterday’s speech by Anthony Britneff to the Western Silviculture Contractors’ Association Annual Conference in Kelowna.
“So far the wood enterprise centre and the value for wood secretariat are only words on paper.”
Simpson added legislators from all sides of the house should make this plan a top priority.
“We don’t need to wait for a new premier or leader of the opposition to kick this plan into high gear,” he says..
“B.C.’s economy depends on setting aside partisanship and putting British Columbians back to work today with a made-in-B.C. 21st century forest industry plan.”