Forestry industry unphased by budget cuts

April 18, 2016

By: 630CHED

The province is trying to mitigate the 10 billion dollar budget the best it can and it’s no surprise they’ve had to impact a few areas.

One of those areas is the lumber industry, but speaking on the Alberta Morning News, President of the Alberta Forest Products Association Paul Whittaker says it’s nothing to worry about.

“There’s a small business tax cut that goes from 3 per cent to 2 per cent. Now, does that impact our companies? Actually it doesn’t because we tend to be bigger companies; we’re a big employer in this province. We employ about 15,000 Albertans, but here’s the interesting thing: we employ about 30,000 in spin-off jobs,” says Whittaker.

Whittaker says the industry has actually grown, going up 5 per cent in 2015. He says economists will tell you forestry has one of the highiest multiplier effects of any sector.

“That’s because as a sector we tend to buy local. We buy in the communities or within Alberta or, the biggest stretch is, we tend to buy within Canada. We don’t tend to source our supplies or services or equipment from overseas.”

Whittaker says he expected a tough budget, but is glad to see an upward trend. He adds he knows the forestry industry will never overtake oil and glass. (djs/amn)

By: 630CHED

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