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B.C. ups investment in forestry sector with $70.3M in funding

B.C. ups investment in forestry sector with $70.3M in funding

VANCOUVER – The Province of British Columbia has announced a capital investment of up to $70.3 million in forest sector transition and diversification across 50 projects.

Investments through the $180-million BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF) are focused on “boosting high-quality, made-in-B.C. wood-product lines that create more sustainable jobs for every tree harvested,” a release said.

The $70.3 million in forest sector investment is part of as much as $88.2 million in total BCMJF funding for the manufacturing sector.

“While workers and businesses in the forest sector have faced significant challenges over the past few years, there are tremendous opportunities out there in producing made-in-B.C. sustainable forest products. That’s why our government is working together with the sector to help them transition to high-value product lines that make the best use of every tree harvested, while creating and protecting good, family-supporting jobs. These investments are a blueprint for the stronger, cleaner economic future we’re building here in British Columbia,” B.C. premier David Eby said in a statement.

BCMJF investments are intended to meet significant domestic and international demand in the homebuilding and construction industries for engineered wood products, such as mass timber, panels and composite lumber, the release said.

One business receiving BCMJF funds is Surrey, B.C.-based A-1 Trusses ltd. The Government of B.C. will put up to $9.5 million to A-1 Trusses expansion plans to diversify its offerings including prefabricated wall panels and floor cassettes.

“It’s great news that a homegrown company like A-1 is committing to growing their operations right here in Surrey. By creating 125 new, sustainable jobs through their expansion, A-1 is helping our vibrant community grow and become more resilient, while also contributing to the need for innovative products for building more homes,” Surrey-Guildford MLA Garry Begg added.

In January 2023 the Ministry of Forests also introduced a program to establish a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers, and to increase the flow of fibre and find ways to expand local production of high-value wood products, the release said.

More announcements of funding through the BCMJF initiative are expected in the coming weeks.

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