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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.

April 16, 2013  By  John Tenpenny

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.”

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