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

Port Alice trailer goes up in flames in the early morning hours

The North Island Gazette will continue to update the story with more details as it progresses.

1041 customers without power due to outages in Northern Vancouver Island

Keep following the North Island Gazette for more on the power outages.

VIDEO: Sports Talk with Tyson: North Island Bantam Eagles are ready for provincials

Sports Talk with Tyson is back this week with an indepth look at the North Island Bantam Eagles.

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Thunderbird movie films in downtown Port Hardy

A film crew of approximately 30-40 people has shut down part of Market Street in Port Hardy.

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Announcement made Saturday evening from Europe

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Most Read