Vancouver Island sawmill operation, 2009. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. delays increase to log export restrictions in COVID-19 crisis

Market slump frustrates NDP plan to revive mill employment

The B.C. government has delayed coastal log export reforms for a second time to deal with an industry slump made worse by the global market effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced June 11 that a reduced maximum size for milled timber exports that was due to take effect July 1 is delayed until Sept. 30. The regulation will reduce the definition of a “sawn-wood product” or squared-off log for export from 43 cm (17 inches) to 30.5 cm (12 inches), changing a rule that was implemented.

Restriction on export of Western red cedar and cypress is also delayed to Sept. 30. That will require cedar and cypress harvested on Crown land in the B.C. Coast region to be “fully manufactured” to be eligible for export, unless the seller or exporter obtains an exemption and pays a “fee in lieu” of manufacture to the province.

“Globally, the forest industry has been hit particularly hard by the challenges associated with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the resulting market impacts,” the forests ministry said in a statement. “Delaying the Manufactured Forest Products Regulation and fee-in-lieu provides B.C. forest companies with more time to prepare and adjust their business models to the upcoming regulatory changes.”

The new fee-in-lieu of milling for the B.C. Coast has been delayed a second time, and is to come into force as of December 2020.

“It will replace the existing fee-in-lieu structure for the Coast and will expand the practice that has been in place for B.C. Timber Sales advertised in the Coast area since July 7, 2019,” the ministry said. “The new variable rate fee will be dependent on the economics of the individual stands for harvest, set for the term of the cutting permit to provide cost certainty to forest licence holders.”

RELATED: Ottawa says no to relaxing private-land log export rules

RELATED: B.C. slashes stumpage fees, eases wood waste restrictions

Log exports from private land, mainly on Vancouver Island, are regulated by the federal government. It refused to temporarily relax export rules proposed in a deal between Mosaic Forest Management and the United Steelworkers that to restart Mosaic’s logging operations from Sooke in the south to Port Alberni on central Vancouver Island.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirusforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Court strikes down Sidney’s denial of proposed cannabis store

Justice Jennifer Power orders municipality to reconsider application and pay court costs

VicPD seeking witnesses for fatal crash on Hillside Avenue

A pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where she later died

VicPD searching for three men in connection to random assault that put two in hospital

If you see these men you’re asked to call VicPD’s non-emergency line

Public welcomed back to Sidney Spit ferry and camping ground

Service opens July 20 with new ferry contractor and other pandemic-related changes

B.C. ends short experiment with growler fills at restaurants

Province extends take-out sales of six-packs, wine

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read