BC NDP announce five-point forestry plan
The BC NDP party has developed a five-point plan to help keep the province's forestry industry competitive, leader Adrian Dix announced yesterday in Prince George.
The plan is intended to support skills training, industry-led efforts to expand global markets, improve forest health and reduce raw log exports.
“Our top priority – one that’s shared with the industry – is to solve the shortage of skilled workers in the sector by making significant investments in training and apprenticeships,” said Dix.
The five-point plan aims to:
- address skills shortage by improving training;
- implement a five-year “strategic and operational forest health plan” that works to increase funding by $100 million annually, which involves doubling replanting rates on Crown land and land-use planning;
- support efforts to identify new global markets and grow forest product exports;
- work with industry to reduce raw log exports and create more forestry jobs in B.C.; and
- establish a Jobs Protection Commissioner who will work to minimize job loss and enhance long-term economic competitiveness of resource industries.
Dix said the NDP would invest:
- $30 million in 2013-14;
- $40 million in 2014-15;
- $60 million in 2015-16;
- $80 million in 2016-17; and
- $100 million in 2017-18 and going forward.
NDP forestry critic Norm Macdonald said, “We are committed to a competitive, profitable and increasingly high-tech forest industry and the good-paying, family-supporting jobs it provides.”