By: My Bulkley Lakes Wow
Foresting in Northern BC could see a severe drop following the summer months.
With the Canada/USA Softwood Lumber Agreement expiring in October, the foresting industry could take a major blow.
Without an agreement, the local economy could be greatly affected and Northern BC unemployment rate could rise further. The rate went from 6.9% in 2013 to 8% in 2014.
Edmison Mehr Chartered Accountant Jeanne MacNeil says there are only speculations this point, but the threat is real.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen come October. The last time they didn’t have a Softwood Lumber Agreement in place, every log export stopped,” she says. “Anything to the States was halted.”
If there is no agreement by the October 12th, 2015 deadline, the USA has agreed to delay any trade sanctions for at least a year.
The industry is also heavily affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, resulting in new biomass projects such as pellet plants in the region.