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Great Idea, Tentative Results


April 1, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The BC Liberal government’s ongoing allocation of forestry resources to First Nations hasn’t produced the desired results so far. Designed to create jobs and promote economic growth via ‘forest and ra…

The BC Liberal government’s ongoing allocation of forestry resources to First Nations hasn’t produced the desired results so far. Designed to create jobs and promote economic growth via ‘forest and range opportunities,’ the initiative has granted access to almost 27 million cubic metres of timber to almost 100 native bands over the last five years. However, according to an independent report commissioned by the federally funded Aboriginal Forest Industries Council, the results have been below expectations and more than 30-fold below the industry norm.

Produced by professional forester Bill Dumont, native logging contractor Dan Hanuse and native forestry management consultant Keith Atkinson, the survey and report note that on average the forest industry delivers 1,000 direct jobs for every million cubic metres of timber harvested annually. However, the 27 million cubic metres allocated to First Nations bands produced 934 ‘full-time’ jobs, even when defined as six months of continuous work in the last two years. Fewer than half of the jobs created required higher skills, while most of the positions involved tree planting or basic harvesting.

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