Creating good solid jobs, being environmentally sustainable, expanding our market, and making sure Indigenous communities are included where topics highlighted by Premier John Horgan at the BC Council of Forest Industries convention in Prince George.
Horgan says he wants to show how critical the forest sector in BC can be to the world.
“Not only can we build in BC, with engineered wood products, we can be exporting those products like pieces of LEGO to communities around the world. The future is bright for building with wood. It started here in Prince George and it’s expanding right around the province.”
In the Q&A portion of the convention, Horgan was asked if there was any plan to move oil products from rail carts to free up space for wood products.
“I appropriately pointed out that BC rail use to be a crown corporation where the government could have brought on more cars to meet the needs of north-south. It’s a private company now as a result of the previous government made. We can’t dictate what the private train puts on its tracks.”
What Horgan said what he can do is try to make it so wood products are favorable to move although he can’t predict what CN does.
Horgan also talked about community support when it comes to companies that work in and around Prince George which led some to speculate that he may bring back an old policy called appurtenancy, which he touched on.
“We need to make sure communities feel connected to the forest that they depend on. That was, historically, appurtenancy. Connecting logs to mills and communities for access to that timber. The liberals did away with that, we can’t recreate that,” he said.
“We need to be mindful that appurtenancy or social licenses is present and growing stronger, not weaker.”
The BC Council of Forest Industries Annual Convention which is the largest gathering of the forest sector in Western Canada wrapped up Friday.
(Files from Jeff Slack with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW)