Statement by BC Liberal Forestry Critic John Rustad on stumpage rate reduction

VANDERHOOF (May 1, 2020) – With COVID-19 plunging B.C.’s forest industry further into crisis, it is clear that John Horgan and the NDP still fail to understand the depth of the industry’s problems and are continuing to ignore the dire straits the forest sector is in.

“Yesterday’s announcement on stumpage deferrals is a step in the right direction by providing forestry companies with short term cash flow, but the bottom line doesn’t change,” said MLA John Rustad, BC Liberal Forestry Critic. “British Columbia’s suffering forest industry needs a comprehensive plan to significantly reduce the cost structure so that they can compete in the global marketplace.”

British Columbia’s forest sector has become the highest-cost producer in North America under this government and cannot operate successfully in the current environment.

“Charging an undefined amount of interest and only having the deferral for three months speaks volumes to the lack of concern for the sector. Alberta and Ontario both deferred stumpage for six months without charging any interest,” added Rustad. “Surely John Horgan and the NDP could do more for a sector we all rely upon to fund vital social services. Our forest sector needs immediate action to prevent long term damage to the communities, workers, and families that rely on this vital industry.”

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