Premier Christy Clark discussed the forestry industry in Prince George on Friday after making a stop in the northern capital as part of her visit to Mackenzie for the opening of a new biomass power plant.
Clark says she remains optimistic about the future of forestry in BC, despite Tolko having announced it was cutting production at its Quest Wood mill in half in Quesnel due to limited timber supply last week.
“It’s a sunrise industry, not a sunset industry. But there are some bumps in the road that we are trying to anticipate. That means innovation, it means putting wood into a broader range of uses. It means being the best in the world for coming up with new ideas where we put wood and exporting that.”
“Thinking about how we move the forest industry into the next step. Because there is a real issue there; mid-term timber supply. People all over the north and in forestry-dependent communities know it poses a looming problem.”
Clark says MLA Shirley Bond is working with Quesnel to make sure they are “supporting the community in the transition.”
She added that the industry needs to make the best of what timber they have available, saying BC should be a place that uses 100% of a tree.
Clark said that the Province is wrapping up work on something called the “Competitiveness Agenda”, which saw consultation with forest companies and communities on how to push the sector into the future.
She says they will be making more specific announcements related to that in the coming months.
(With Files from MY PRINCE GEORGE NOW)