B.C. BUDGET: Province braces for shrinking forest industry, new lands ministry
By Tom Fletcher
The B.C. government is preparing for falling revenues and rising unemployment in the wood products industry as it works toward Indigenous-led forest management with greater protection of old and rare forests. Projections in Tuesday’s B.C. budget show a decline in provincial revenue from timber cutting, from $1.8 billion in the current year to $1.1 billion in 2024-25. The drop is mainly as a result of province-wide deferrals of harvesting in areas identified as rare and threatened old-growth forests, Finance Minister Selina Robinson said Feb. 22. The budget includes $182 million over three years to “support forestry workers and communities affected by old-growth logging deferrals,” the finance ministry said in a statement. “This includes connecting workers with short-term employment opportunities and providing education and skills training for community members.” …Another $44 million is set aside to create a new ministry of lands, water and resource stewardship, split off from the current forests ministry.
See the Government of BC press release: Budget 2022 moves us forward together to build a StrongerBC
BVI Quote- The government expects to see its revenues from forestry decline by nearly $1 billion over the next couple of years, from $1.8 billion for the current fiscal year to $1.1 billion in 2022-23, and $909 million by the 2024-25 fiscal year.
The decline in forestry sector revenue is in no small part due to the NDP government’s new forestry policies, notably a moratorium on old growth. The budget expects the annual allowable cut to decline from 45 million cubic metres in 2021 to just 38.5 million cubic metres by 2023 – a decline of 6.5 million cubic metres.