The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) congratulates the B.C. government’s tabling of its fourth consecutive balanced budget today. The budget provides critical funding to enhance forest management, rural development and long-term market access.
“The government is making an important contribution to enhancing future forest health in B.C. through the establishment of a new $85 million fund,” said Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of COFI. “The fund, to be administered through the new Forest Enhancement Society, will result in improved wildfire prevention and mitigation through forest fuel management, reforestation and habitat restoration.”
Premier Clark and her government have also shown strong leadership by making an investment in building the B.C. wood products brand in India.
“As Finance Minister de Jong pointed out, China was just an emerging market for B.C. wood products 15 years ago and now we export large volumes to that country,” said Yurkovich. “Now India, with its growing middle class, has the potential to be a marketplace for high quality B.C. wood products in the future. This is an opportunity we are pleased to be exploring in partnership with the Province.”
The government should also be commended for directing $19 million to support the appropriate consultation and engagement with First Nations, industry, communities and stakeholders on resource permitting and development.
“The forest industry contributes $12 billion to the provincial GDP and supports 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in B.C.,” said Yurkovich. “We are happy to see Premier Clark and her government remain committed to ensuring a healthy, vibrant and sustainable natural resource sector.”