Tree Frog Forestry News

Susan Yurkovich, Doug Donaldson kick of COFI conference

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 4, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

This week, almost 700 business, government, First Nations and community leaders have gathered in Vancouver for the B.C. Council of Forest Industries (COFI) annual convention, one of B.C.’s most important business gatherings. On the coattails of yesterday’s PwC report revealing industry’s profound role as a driver of the economy—after welcoming the delegates to the business session—CEO Susan Yurkovich was quick to speak to some of the unique highlights. In addition to generating 140,000 jobs—one out of every 17 in the province—was that fact that the jobs were well distributed to every corner of the province. And fully 40% of them were in the lower mainland while 9% are First Nations. Yurkovich concluded by reviewing the two-day program highlights and introducing and joining Squamish Nation Council representative Deborah Baker on stage to perform the welcome song.

First up, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development, provided an update on the key initiatives he’s been working on and two funding announcements. The latter includes a 58% lift in the budget for wildfire management and preparations, $7.9 million to promote B.C. wood products at home and abroad and $3.4 million to bring forests back into production that have been damaged by wildfires or pests. Other updates were provided on the Coast Revitalization Initiative, pending and future changes to FRPA—which included a teaser on a “new model of forest management” in Premier Horgan’s closing speech on Friday.