Health & Safety
BC establishes $9.3M fund to help forest products sector with COVID-19 costs
By Ellen Cools
By Ellen Cools
The government of B.C. has created a $9.3 million fund for small- and medium-sized forestry businesses to cover the extra costs related to operating safely during COVID-19.
“Our government worked with forest contractors to plant 300 million seedlings this year with no recorded COVID-19 transmissions,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C. minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, in a statement.
“This $9.3 million fund will help forestry businesses keep their employees on staff, and their communities safe with the additional costs they’ve already faced related to COVID-19.”
The B.C. government says it expects about 175 companies to apply for part of the fund to cover the cost of the COVID-19 health and safety measures they implemented between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. Costs that will be covered include personal protective equipment, hand washing stations, extra vehicles and equipment.
To be eligible, companies must have fewer than 500 employees across all offices in Canada, and their primary business activities must be in forestry and logging, pulp and paper manufacturing, support activities for forestry or wood product manufacturing.
“Since being designated as an essential service, our members have faced increasing costs associated with ensuring that their employees and families remained safe during these unprecedented times,” says Todd Chamberlain, general manager of the Interior Logging Association, in a statement.
“We welcome this funding to assist our membership and appreciate that both the federal and provincial governments have come to the table to help the forest industry.”