BC Council of Forest Industries President & CEO Linda Coady issued the following media statement today:
“The BC Council of Forest Industries calls for all parties – employers, unions, and the provincial and federal governments – to come together urgently to resolve the labour dispute at Canada’s west coast ports.
“Forest products are a major export for British Columbia, with about $15 billion worth of forest products exported annually, representing about one-quarter of merchandise exports from B.C. In fact, in 2022, forest products represented about 15% of all the cargo flowing through the Port of Vancouver.
“The shutdown of our ports landlocks our products and prevents them from getting to market, especially overseas. Asia is a growing market for BC’s high quality forest products and is critically important for British Columbia as we strive to reduce our reliance on the United States due to the ongoing softwood lumber dispute.
“We are already feeling the impacts of this one-week dispute. Forestry operates in a globally competitive marketplace and requires dependable transportation routes to deliver our products. A prolonged dispute will erode market confidence and more importantly, directly impact our operations, our employees, and forestry-dependent communities around the province.”
- British Columbia’s forest products exports are worth about $15 billion annually.
- Forest products make up 23% of merchandise exports from B.C.
- In 2022, forest products represented about 15% of all the cargo flowing through the Port of Vancouver.
- The forest industry is foundational to regional economies, communities and jobs across B.C.:
- Contributes $13 billion to B.C.’s GDP.
- Pays $8 billion in wages, salaries & benefits.
- Generates $4 billion in government revenue to support health, education & more.
- Close to 120 Indigenous Nations or affiliated organizations are active participants in BC’s forest industry.
About the BC Council of Forest Industries
The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) represents the majority of lumber, pulp and paper, and manufactured wood producers across the province – an industry that remains a cornerstone of the economy, supporting good jobs and a better quality of life for British Columbians. COFI advocates for the interests of its members and works with government, First Nations, communities, labour and other partners to promote a healthy, diversified, and sustainable forest industry that benefits people and families across BC. In addition to corporate members, COFI also provides Quality Control services to a broader group of companies.
Guiding us in the work we do each day is our Statement of Sustainability Commitments and Statement on Reconciliation.