Forestry jobs are of critical importance to BC. Last year they accounted for 65,500 jobs. But this number is far less than the amount of jobs forestry once supported. That’s because our forests have not been managed sustainably.
We want high-paying jobs that are not vulnerable to boom-bust economics. Right now there are mills on Vancouver Island that can only process old growth. But old-growth is a finite resource, and most of it is already gone. That means those forestry jobs are at risk.
By investing in mill retrofits we can set up these forestry workers to thrive in the long-term. Plus, if we focus on value-added manufacturing rather than raw-log exports, those jobs will be more reliable and better paying.
It’s also essential that the government provide funding, including conservation financing, to support First Nations and local communities to develop economic alternatives to old-growth logging.
It’s a win-win for British Columbians and the forests we cherish.