“If we don’t have chips flowing, our industry’s biggest artery is cut off – and thousands more will be out of work.”. Subscribe to our newsletter. After a decade of difficulty, many in the industry are themselves “tired,” and ready to retire, he noted. forestry industry facing uncertain future as mills close across province ... need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Given the scale of the crisis affecting Canada’s forest products industry, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources agreed in December 2007 to undertake a review of the opportunities and challenges facing the industry. The infrastructure of B.C.’s forest industry faces many challenges, including aging machinery and workforce, and unrealistic rate structures. “I’m pleased that the Natural Resources Committee will be studying the challenges facing Canada’s forestry industry,” Melillo stated. FPAC represents Canada’s wood, pulp, paper, and wood bio-products manufacturers, a $73-billion industry employing 230,000 in northern and rural communities. Canada’s struggling forestry companies and its hard-hit sawmilling sector need federal support to get them through to the end of this year. Other panellists at last week’s conference pointed to the nuts and bolts of dealing with the difficulties of the “new era.” Gord Hubley, a business advisor with Meyers Norris Penny, reported on rates and returns for loggers and noted that businesses generally can expect 15 to 50 per cent return on investment. Looking ahead to next year and the post-COVID-19 recovery, prospects look considerably brighter, Nighbor said. In March, Ottawa introduced a 75 per cent federal wage subsidy, designed to soften the blow to employers caused by the pandemic. The stoppage in wood chip production is already being felt downstream with a handful of pulp operations scheduling down time, despite their order sheets looking healthy. A lot of willingness on the part of people to share their time and expertise. The crash of lumber prices, the pandemic-related halt to the North American economy, combined with the pain felt by softwood lumber tariffs over the last two years has many industry players facing a “brutal” next couple of financial quarters, said Derek Nighbor, president-CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). 7 x 10, 416p, 2 figures, 2000. The program will cover three-quarters of the salaries of any size company that can show their revenues dipped by at least 30 per cent due to COVID-19. He expressed confidence that estimated $3.6-billion in softwood lumber tariffs, collected by U.S. government, will come back to Canadian producers on successful appeals through the trade tribunals. Nelson advised those new to the industry to “find someone to be your mentor. For many forestry players operating on the margins, being hit with a 30 per cent revenue drip would be “too late for some.”. All Rights Reserved, UBC professor Harry Nelson addresses the Truck Loggers Association. “Our biggest issue is liquidity – managing increased operating costs, working through falling prices and markets, and making our credit payments.”, In his remarks, Nighbor said he sees no evidence that the credit availability program, run through the federal Business Development Bank of Canada, “is going to deliver what we need.”. Sign in or register for your free account, Industry association urges Ottawa for lifeline to restart sawmills and resume wood chip flow, The Forest Products Association of Canada counts 39 sawmills closed across the country, which is staunching the supply of wood chips to pulp and paper mills. “They can’t get the chips they need to make their in-demand products,” said Nighbor. That’s the message of a report by UBC professor Harry Nelson entitled “Tired Iron: The State of the Harvesting Sector on the B.C. Forest sector transformation. But with threats like pests and the end of a softwood lumber agreement with the U.S., is the industry facing trouble? “The forestry sector has seen reduced revenues, mill closures and job losses across the Major social issues of the 1970's included the Cold War, and economic issues. Forest product markets are cyclical, experiencing significant ups and downs over the economic cycle. He proposes more of a segmented, mill-by-mill, approach. 's economy. There’s a lot of passion in this industry. “. Daily updates on what's happening in BC's business world. Forestry has traditionally been an important part of B.C. Forestry is a major industry in most of Canada's provinces. This constant state of shifting circumstances creates both challenges and opportunities. When asked whether he sees a new crop of loggers in his classrooms at UBC, Nelson said, “I definitely see people who are interested in forestry as a long-term career.” But he cautions newcomers to create a path that’s sustainable, not limited by the historically cyclical nature of the industry. (File photo), Northern College wants to hear about your workforce needs, Reduction in U.S. softwood lumber duties doesn't appease Ottawa, Queen's Park, North Bay drone company taking a lead on responsible forest management. “We just need some help to keep our heads above water and keep as many people working as possible over the next few months,” he said. B.C. Take advantage of it.” Doing business in the forest industry’s “new era” means knowing the lessons learned from tough times, he said. That is why the BC Coalition for Forestry Reform (BCCFR) is calling on the provincial government to immediately implement the recommended changes to forestry regulation and governance. “If the forest industry’s leadership won’t enter the 21st … The work hasn’t been as steady as it could be, and it’s been hard to train and retain new workers.”. With the global population predicted to hit 9 billion by 2050 – and two out of every three people living in cities by 2050 – the demand for construction has never been greater. Population growth statistics paint a rosy future for the construction industry. “Machinery is old. He urges anyone venturing into the industry to take advantage of the existing sectoral knowledge. Canada’s struggling forestry companies and its hard-hit sawmilling sector need federal support to get them through to the end of this year. Such challenges were front and centre during the housing and financial crisis in the United States and subsequent great recession of 2007–2009. In the forest sector, ROI has been at or less than zero for years. The American forestry industry faces multiple large-scale challenges that threaten to erode recent gains and must address them to ensure future success. On Sept. 16, they launched their new Forestry for the Future campaign to raise awareness about the issues facing Canada's forestry workers and communities ahead of the federal election. The British Columbia forest industry continuously faces challenges from commodity market volatility, increased global competition, and declining timber supply. Wood is increasingly gaining favour as a renewable construction material of choice. Eddie LeMoine is one of Canada's leading expert on employee engagement and the impact of the aging demographics. 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