B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks by video link to the annual Council of Forest Industries convention, April 8, 2021. (COFI video)

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks by video link to the annual Council of Forest Industries convention, April 8, 2021. (COFI video)

Horgan says B.C. logging licences to be bought back, redistributed

Premier ‘disappointed’ in big forest companies’ efforts

The B.C. government’s plan to break up large forest harvest licences and share the resource with secondary manufacturers and Indigenous communities hasn’t worked, so Crown timber rights will be redistributed by the government, Premier John Horgan has warned industry executives.

Speaking to the annual B.C. Council of Forest Industries conference Wednesday, Horgan reminded delegates of a letter he wrote to them before the same speech two years ago. That letter and speech advised the industry to set up regional “coalitions” with communities, Indigenous leaders and unions to diversify and share a timber resource depleted by mountain pine beetle and forest fires, along with a century of commercial logging.

“Unfortunately the results have been disappointing,” Horgan told the convention by video link April 8. “Although two coalitions were established, the third one is still struggling to get underway. So to bring about the change, the government will have to step in, I believe, to make sure that we provide the appropriate incentives to get the job done.”

Horgan said the details will be released in a few weeks by Forests Minister Katrine Conroy, and the “incentives” are designed to increase competitiveness and value-added wood production, without raising the ire of U.S. producers who see every move on Crown forest land as a potential subsidy.

RELATED: Industry begins regional meetings on forest licences

RELATED: B.C. delays coastal log export penalties due to COVID-19

“There’s no magical solution to the lack of fibre, but I do believe there is work we can do, business to business, to encourage companies and indigenous nations to work together,” Horgan said. “And those who do have tenure and do not want to share it, well we’ll have to step in and ensure that there is fair compensation as we move to a more equitable distribution of access to forest products so we can continue to have the diversity that we all want to see.”

COFI president Susan Yurkovich made no comment on the announcement as she moderated questions from industry players at the virtual event. She issued a statement to Black Press when asked for comment after the conference closed.

“The premier said that he wants to make space for more people to be part of the industry, recognizing that the annual allowable cut is declining, following the effects of the mountain pine beetle infestation and two years of devastating wildfires,” Yurkovich said. “There may be opportunities for companies with large tenures to help meet that goal, as the premier noted, by providing tenure and be compensated for it.”

Horgan acknowledged that there has been some progress in “business to business tenure sales” and some companies have deals to share timber with local communities and Indigenous people. Those companies also pay full market value for trees they harvest through the Crown timber stumpage system.

“The B.C. market pricing system will remain unaltered,” Horgan said. “B.C. Timber Sales will continue to do the good work that they’re doing, and I’ve also heard and I agree that you should not have to pay twice to access timber.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. (File photo)
UPDATE: 2 cougars killed following attack in Harrison Mills

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

....
Abbotsford graphic designer pitches Flyers rebrand for AHL team

Alex Svarez suggests new affiliate team turns back the clock and brings back Flyers moniker

Mike Haire, a former vice-principal at W. A. Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford, began court proceedings on Monday, May 3 in New Westminster for two child pornography offences.
Trial paused for former Abbotsford vice-principal charged with child porn

Judge reserves decision on admissibility of evidence against Mike Haire

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen is now under investigation from the Vancouver Police Department following sexual misconduct allegations. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Vancouver police investigating sexual misconduct claims against Canucks’ Jake Virtanen

Abbotsford native remains on leave with the Vancouver Canucks following recent allegations

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Meghan Gilley, a 35-year-old emergency room doctor and new mom was vaccinated from COVID-19 in January, while she was pregnant. She’s encouraging others to do the same. (Submitted)
‘The best decision’: B.C. mom encourages other pregnant women to get COVID-19 shot

Meghan Gilley, 35, delivered a healthy baby after being vaccinated against the virus while pregnant

Former Vernon Panthers football standout Ben Hladik of the UBC Thunderbirds (top, in a game against the Manitoba Bisons, <ins>making one of his 38 Canada West solo tackles in 2019</ins>), was chosen in Tuesday’s 2021 Canadian Football League draft. (Rich Lam - UBC Thunderbirds photo)
B.C. Lions call on Vernon standout in CFL draft

Canadian Football League club selects former VSS Panthers star Ben Hladik in third round of league draft

Most Read