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.

Just Posted

Pacific Insight to close in April

The remaining employees at the Nelson automotive manufacturing facility to be laid off

RCMP bike patrol coming to Castlegar

The pair of bicycles will be from a local shop and cost over $6,000 each.

Castlegar orders new fire truck to replace engine, rescue vehicle

The 2020 vehicle was purchased for about $750,000

Snow hosts available to help you explore the Rossland Range

Safe and responsible way to learn about Rossland Recreation Site

Trail cannabis shop gets green light from province

The Higher Path hopes to open doors in next couple of weeks

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Most Read