December 6, 2021 By Canadian Forest Industries Staff
For Canada’s forest industry, 2021 has been a year for the books, with ongoing record-high lumber prices and demand, changes in government policies and regulations, and new challenges and opportunities. From old-growth logging deferrals to more mass timber projects, a lot has happened.
To gain some insights about the big events and developments from the past year, including lumber market trends, new legislation and policies, CFI editor Ellen Cools spoke with Chris Duncan, national leader of forestry and forest products services at MNP.
One of the most consequential changes this past year was the B.C. government’s announcement on Nov. 2 to defer the harvest of 2.6 million hectares of old-growth forest. The provincial government gave First Nations rights and title holders 30 days to respond to the deferrals.
According to Chris, this legislation is “bringing a sledgehammer to try to pound a nail. Many in the industry feel that there’s been a lack of consultation with the different groups that are going to be impacted by this, including Indigenous communities and industry experts.
“The vagueness and cumbersomeness of the legislation also fails to satisfy the demands of the environmental groups that were requesting the demand initially,” he added. “So, we’ve actually gotten to a point where we’ve got legislation now; however, it’s not satisfying anybody, so we’re at this weird point of, ‘Well, what do we do?’ The scary thing is when we have reactions from government to interest groups like we do here, if I am a licensee looking to invest in a region, I’m not going to be as willing to invest or I’m not going to invest at all in a region that has uncertainty as B.C. does.”
Listen to the SoundCloud link below to hear more from Chris about how the forest industry fared in 2021.
Special thanks to the MNP for sponsoring this episode!
Have an idea for a podcast episode? Email CFI editor Ellen Cools at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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