B.C. premier says it’s time to add value to province’s forestry products

VANCOUVER — A downturn in British Columbia’s lumber industry is a chance to refocus on getting more money out of provincial forests, Premier John Horgan said Friday.

He told hundreds of delegates at the annual convention of the Union of B.C. Municipalities that the forest industry has focused for too long on sending raw logs offshore without adding value.

Dozens of forest companies have closed or curtailed operations in B.C. over what Horgan said is dwindling supply and an operating model that moves timber to market without tending to a renewable resource.

He said the province has dwindling fibre because of fires, pine beetle infestations and an operations model that gets timber cut and to market as fast as possible.

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