B.C.’s forestry industry on the brink of collapse
The crisis facing British Columbia’s forest industry is intensifying as markets decline, mills shut and a strike involving 3,000 forestry workers enters its seventh month.
The multiple threats are deeper than the global meltdown of 2008 and may rival the damage wrought by B.C.’s 1980s recession, according to the National Post, setting off massive industry restructuring, says an insider who is hearing from many people on the brink of financial collapse.
“There’s a whole bunch of things swirling around that’s causing a whole world of hurt for people working in this industry,” David Elstone, executive director for the B.C. Truck Loggers Association, told the National Post. “Many people are saying this is worse than 2008. Back in 2008, the industry was in rough shape but so was the rest of the world in tough shape with the global financial crisis.”
Other factors hitting B.C.’s forest industry now include low timber prices, less demand from Asian markets, U.S. tariffs, high cost structures, government fees or stumpage rates, timber supply shortages, mill closures in B.C.’s Interior and the strike on Vancouver Island, he said.