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Aggressive action needed, BC’s forest minister says


November 28, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Creative thinking is needed to prop up BC’s slumping forestry sector, the province’s forest minister, P…

Creative thinking is needed to prop up BC’s slumping forestry sector, the province’s forest minister, Pat Bell says. According to a recent report by CBC, forestry revenues typically provide the government with more than $1 billion revenue from taxes and fees, but this year projections pegged the amount at $652 million.

“This is probably going to be one of the most challenging years that we’ve had in terms of revenue for the forest industry,” CBC reported Bell as saying.

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Bell cited weak lumber prices and a faltering U.S. housing market as compounding the industry’s woes. He pointed to the more than 10,000 forestry workers that have lost their jobs in the recent downturn, but highlighted BC’s success in securing new lumber customers in China.

“We’ve got to get creative,” CBC reported him as saying. “If we think we’ve just got to tell the Americans they’ve got to take more of our lumber, we’re kidding ourselves. We’ve got to look for new markets and do it aggressively.”


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