Category Archives: Diversified manufacturing sector

Fort Nelson license transfer

Congratulations to Minister Conroy and others involved in the  transfer of the Canfor Forest License to Peak Fort Nelson Properties Ltd (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FLNRO0070-001629 ). The transfer includes a Peak “objective of each part of the total forest-stand profile will be used for its highest and best use.”  This creates an opportunity to work with the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and Fort Nelson First Nation to diversify the wood fibre economy contributing to resiliency of the communities. Now we need to create an investment climate that encourages investors to build facilities to utilize the quality wood in the region.

Challenges in moving to new wood manufacturing sector

Moving to a new BC wood manufacturing sector will not be quick or easy!  As outlined in Building a diversified mfg sector-challenges_1, there are challenges to overcome in this transition.  It will be a journey, not an event requiring:

  • Politicians thinking strategically beyond a one-term election period or political ideology,
  • Politicians adopting a business environment that addresses the needs of investors, profitability of companies and acknowledging current and future markets,
  • Companies committing support for a secondary wood manufacturing sector, and
  • Communities being realistic and supporting local investments in secondary wood manufacturing. 

New wood manufacturing sector

Government’s Forest Sector Revitalization initiative has generated a great deal of consultation, uncertainty and stress within the industry, investors, suppliers, communities and Government itself. It is fragmented without a vision for the wood manufacturing sector.  Government has taken the approach “we are in a transition from the current forest sector to a new forest sector and it will take time to evolve.”  The lack of a vision and counting on broad consultations to provide the leadership is problematic.  Bill Bourgeois provides his comments and suggested actions to achieve a sustainable wood manufacturing sector that contributes toward achieving community resiliency in a New manufacturing sector-Action plan

Innovative building design

Spearhead  http://www.spearhead.ca/company has created an amazing wood structure  in the Kootenays  http://archinect.com/features/article/150015839/after-being-destroyed-in-a-fire-canadian-firm-patkau-architects-rebuilds-the-temple-of-light We need more of this!  The creation of clusters and encouraging innovative value-added manufacturing requires Government leadership, especially in the form of reducing barriers Building through clusters (1).

Kitimat Mayor encourages value-added

The Kitimat Mayor is encouraging Canada through an open letter to Governments and Canadians (kitimat-mayor-an-open-letter-to-canada) to increase value added manuracturing. The forest sector in identified as one of the natural resource industries being challenged to take action. Increasing value-added or secondary wood manufacturing  then BC is not new. Actions have been taken for over several decades on this issue with limited success.  The most recent is the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations’  mflnro-competiveness-agenda and companion value-added-sector-action-plan. Both of these documents address issues related to markets and other support services but they do not mention the major factor of certainty of wood supply which has been identified as a major barrier for many manufacturers.  The MFLNRO Fibre Working Group is supposed to be working on this through creating regulations to encourage “business to business” opportunities.  However, it is yet to be shown this approach will work when there is a disparity of interest and control between the parties.  Hopefully, this will be resolved but until then, the identified priority issue of communities to diversify their local forest sector will be limited at best.