BC Wood Appears Before BC Legislative Committee

Posted by Brian Hawrysh
October 18th, 2010

BC Wood’s CEO, Brian Hawrysh, and board member, Sean Greenhill of Masonite International met with British Columbia’s Legislative Finance Committee to make a submission at this years pre-budget consultations. They emphasized the need for government to continue to make a commitment to help BC’s value-added wood products industry. The committee is made up of Members from BC’s Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing both political parties. Each year, the committee travels around the province to receive input from various individual and groups on how to allocate funds in next year’s provincial budget.

Hawrysh and Greenhill reminded the MLA’s how the value-added industry contributes to our economy and our communities. The value-added industry creates more jobs per cubic meter harvested, and provides an opportunity for high skill jobs employing over 19,000 people. BC’s value-added industry is a sustainable industry that maximizes the value of each cubic meter of fiber harvested. The value-added industry provides entrepreneurial opportunities for new entrances to the forest industry and becomes the testing ground for innovative new products. They also stated that there are over 700 value-added companies scattered through out BC in nearly 100 communities.

Hawrysh noted that while there are many value-added manufactures in British Columbia, most (60%) are small and medium sized companies with sales under $5 million annually. These companies need assistance to develop their own competitive position in the market place, by developing better business planning, improved marketing and new product development and by applying new manufacturing technologies.

In their presentation to the committee of Hawrysh and Greenhill made the following recommendations:

  1. Continue to fund BC Government’s crown corporation, Forestry Innovation Investment, which helps to advance marketing, business capacity building and product development research in the value-added sector.
  2. Renew funding for the Business Innovation Partnership, which is administered by BC Wood, FP Innovations and UBC’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, and helps companies develop their marketing and business skills, create new products, and improve their manufacturing efficiency.
  3. Also renew funding for export market development activities under the Canada Wood Export Program and encourage the Federal government to renew its commitment to the same program.
  4. Continue to find resources to encourage the use of wood in non-residential construction and fund initiatives such as the Wood Enterprise Coalition, which consists of Wood Works! BC, and FP Innovations, and BC Wood, who are dedicated to realizing the full potential of the Wood First legislation.
  5. Finally, make a commitment to the future of BC’s forest industry and understand that the face of forestry is changing and new products and businesses are now being created here in the value-added industry.

This presentation is part of an ongoing effort by BC Wood to raise the profile of the value-added industry among elected officials. If you want to help communicate our message of the importance of BC’s value-added industry please contact Brian Hawrysh at bhawrysh@bcwood.com or 604-882-7100.

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