Local, provincial, federal, Indigenous and forestry leaders meeting to address challenges facing the BC forest industry


Vancouver, BC (April 8, 2024): This week in Vancouver, the annual convention of the BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) will bring together more than 700 local, provincial, federal, Indigenous and forestry leaders to discuss the future of the province’s forest sector.

Held at the JW Marriott Parq Hotel (April 10-12), the convention is one of the largest gatherings of the forest sector in Western Canada and comes at a time when interest in conditions in BC’s forest industry has never been higher, and neither have the stakes.

“Harvest levels on public forest lands in BC have dropped by almost half in the last five years”, said Linda Coady, President and CEO of COFI. “Since late 2022, the industry has and continues to experience a series of closures and curtailments. While the reasons for this vary and include markets, beetles, fire, industrial capacity rationalization, and new public policies, the consistent underlying factor is the access by BC mills to an economic supply of timber.”

Coady explained that access to a more predictable and sustainable flow of timber is critical to maintaining the core facilities, infrastructure, and workforce that is needed by the sector to evolve and compete in markets for forest products and services. “Access to investment is equally important”, she said. “We need to attract new investment  to build on BC leadership in forest products production and innovation, and to build on the province’s strategic advantage in conservation and sustainable management of a renewable resource.”

“The province’s forest industry is in transition and this year’s COFI convention will focus on what we need to do differently to move forward from here”, said Coady.

Issues on the agenda include a new economic impact report from COFI and the current economic and investment outlook for the industry. Workforce development, wildfire prevention, and new approaches to old growth and biodiversity conservation will also be discussed. The 2024 program will look at increasing demand for products BC can produce, including engineered wood products for affordable housing and biomass and wood waste for energy and recyclable materials.

BC Premier David Eby, Forests Minister Bruce Ralston, and Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry and Innovation Andrew Mercier will speak at the event. “Minister Mercier was appointed in January of this year with a mandate to stabilize fibre supply in BC”, said Coady. “At the COFI convention this week, we’ll have an opportunity to hear from him after his first 90 days on the job.”

Other speakers include BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee and Canada’s Deputy Ambassador to the United States, Arun Alexander. Chair and CEO of Abacus Data, David Coletto will present new public opinion polling results on wildfires in BC. Don Iveson, former Mayor of Edmonton, Executive Advisor to Cooperators Insurance, and Co-Chair of the Task Force on Housing and Climate, will look at how the BC forest sector can support more resilient communities.

The COFI Convention will also feature a trade show component with more than 50 exhibitors. For up-to-date program, speaker and registration information, please visit




Media contacts:

Travis Joern
Director of Communications
BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI)
M: 778-846-3465

Greg Descantes