TO create and support good jobs in British Columbia’s forest sector, the government is investing $7.9 million to promote and grow markets for B.C. wood products at home and abroad.
Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, made the announcement in his opening remarks at the annual Council of Forest Industries conference on Thursday.
“Advancing new products and markets for B.C.’s world-class wood products supports good jobs in over 140 communities throughout British Columbia,” said Donaldson. “Advancing innovation in wood products and wood technology supports our strategy to maintain B.C. jobs in B.C.’s forest sector.”
Fifteen industry trade associations and research institutes were selected to receive funding and deliver programs that will advance market development or wood innovation programs on behalf of government and industry. Forestry Innovation Investment, the Province’s market development agency for forest products, manages B.C.’s contribution to the selected programs, with additional funding provided by the federal government, through Natural Resources Canada, and B.C. industry.
“This partnership between industry and government is critically important as we work together to expand markets for the high-quality, carbon-friendly wood products that are manufactured in communities throughout B.C.,” said Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO, BC Council of Forest Industries.
A total of $7.9 million will be made available, with $5.8 million committed to activities that work to expand markets for B.C.’s wood products in Asia and North America. The remaining $2.1 million will be delivered through research, marketing, education and capacity building dedicated to the innovative use of wood and wood building systems in B.C.
More than 7,000 businesses in British Columbia are supported by B.C.’s forest sector. Provincial revenue generated through forestry is key to ensuring that public services, such as education, health care, and infrastructure, are delivered throughout the province.
* In 2018, B.C. exported $14.89 billion in forest products (lumber, pulp and paper and other wood products), which represented 32% of B.C.’s total exports.
* B.C. communities are incorporating wood innovation into public buildings, helping lower society’s carbon footprint and deliver value for taxpayers.
* Wood products from the Province’s sustainably managed forests help tackle climate change by being a renewable building material and a means to store carbon.
* B.C. is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence for wood building and design expertise, and B.C.’s architects and engineers are recognized as global experts in taller and larger wood construction.
* As of 2017, wood has over 90% market share in five- and six-storey, mid-rise residential buildings in the province. For low-rise commercial buildings such as stores, restaurants and office buildings, as well as public institutional buildings, wood has over 30% of the market share.