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B.C. forest industry urges government action amidst mill closures

May 14, 2024  By CFI Staff

COFI president and CEO Linda Coady. Photo: Annex Business Media.

Linda Coady, president and CEO of the BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI), has voiced concerns over the escalating closures and curtailments of lumber, pulp, and paper mills in B.C.

Coady emphasized the urgent need for the provincial government to swiftly address challenges in timber supply stabilization.

“In the face of mounting mill closures, we urge the provincial government to expedite transition measures within the next 60 days,” stated Coady. “Current challenges in approval and permitting systems, coupled with changing land use policies, are precipitating dramatic declines in harvest levels.”

Coady highlighted the profound impacts of mill closures on employees, families, and local communities, stressing the loss of high-paying jobs and tax revenue. “Each closure creates uncertainty regarding the future of critical forest sector infrastructure and capacity,” she remarked.


Acknowledging recent government initiatives, including the appointment of Andrew Mercier as Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry Innovation, Coady urged accelerated efforts to stabilize fibre supply. “The forest industry is integral to BC’s economy, driving manufacturing productivity, government revenue, and exports,” she emphasized.

COFI’s latest Economic Impact Study underscores the industry’s significance, with job numbers closely linked to harvest levels. However, dropping harvest levels have led to the loss of 10,000 jobs in 2023, with actual harvest falling well below allowable annual cuts.

Coady noted increased collaboration among industry stakeholders and the government to address these challenges. “Now is the time for additional steps to build investor confidence and ensure the longevity of this foundational industry,” she concluded.

Click here to read Coady’s full statement.

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