Coastal loggers to quiz candidates

Logging and roadbuilding equipment awaits auction on Vancouver Island in the fall of 2009. Coastal logging has begun to recover since the low point that saw some companies fold or consolidate due to poor market conditions.

VICTORIA – B.C. Liberal candidates have been invited to the Truck Loggers’ Association convention in Victoria Wednesday for a discussion about the future of the coastal forest industry.

Premier Gordon Campbell will make his final address to the 68th annual convention at a noon luncheon on Wednesday, and Forests Minister Pat Bell starts the day with a morning forecast for the continued recovery of coastal logging and international markets.

The TLA is made up of independent logging contractors on the B.C. coast, and the picture has brightened from 2009 when membership fell from a high of 550 companies to 400, mostly due to companies consolidating or closing. The recovery is thanks in large part to log and lumber exports to China.

TLA executive director Dave Lewis says at the 2009 low point, only half of the annual allowable cut on the coast was being harvested. That has recovered to about 75 per cent of the allowable cut, reflecting a nearly 10-fold increase in Chinese purchases since 2003.

Leadership candidates George Abbott, Mike de Jong and Moira Stilwell are expected to take part in a natural resources forum hosted by the TLA Wednesday evening at the Victoria Conference Centre. Kevin Falcon and Christy Clark have prior campaign commitments, although Falcon intends to attend part of the two-day convention.

With less efficient coastal sawmills unable to compete on price for dimension lumber with B.C. Interior and foreign producers, the TLA has long advocated easing rules on log exports. Federal rules call for a “surplus test” in which logs must be offered for sale to domestic producers before being exported, and sold domestically even if the price is lower than the export price.

The practice has been a focus of U.S. producers in their long series of trade actions against Canadian log and lumber prices.

Just Posted

Nathan Cullen named Parliamentarian of the Year

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP won the top-title Nov. 5

VIDEO: Taking to the skies to protect moose in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Conservation Officer Service doubles patrols to oversee moose harvest

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read