In his keynote address on Friday (4-29-22) to the British Columbia Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Conference, B.C. Premier John Horgan told the group that the only way the provincial forest industry will grow is through partnerships with the First Nations and companies. Horgan noted that co-operation between industry, government, First Nations, workers, and communities was vital to sustain employment and profitability in the forestry industry.
Horgan’s comments come as the B.C. government announced earlier in the week it plans to co-develop a new model for sharing forestry revenues with First Nations in alignment with legislation adopted on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As part of that model, First Nations will receive a $63 million (CAD) increase in forestry income this year.
Horgan also told the conference that the province is also implementing a strategic review of B.C.’s old-growth forest management, while working with First Nations and other partners to develop a new long-term strategy.
The government’s goal, Horgan went onto say, is to combine traditional Indigenous knowledge with developing industry expertise through one of the more sophisticated old-growth strategies ever seen in B.C.
“It’s not just about revenue sharing, it’s about partnerships and those have to be genuine,” he said. “Detached from each other, we will fail.”
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B.C.'s premier asks for collaboration, modernity from forestry sector as it looks to the future