New Brunswick Government Officials Suddenly Tight Lipped About Additional Forestry Revenues

In early July, New Brunswick’s Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland gave several interviews to various media outlets, saying that forestry companies will pay “tens of millions of dollars” more in timber royalties this year than last. Holland noted that most types of wood taken from provincially owned forests carry higher prices than last year, and as a result, forestry companies are paying more.

However, as of late, both the minister and the New Brunswick provincial government appear to be stepping back from the highly touted claim of extra revenues for the province that could reach $50 million (CAD). What has caused the change is unclear, and thus far province officials are tight lipped and not answering questions about it.

In refuting a news story from the CBC, which claims that revenues are not growing, Holland released a signed three-page letter last Friday (9-23-22) that said, “Let me be clear, this new fee structure will result in tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue for the province of New Brunswick.”

“Total timber royalties could top $100 million,” Holland wrote. The minister said he is “serious” about getting “the maximum value for our Crown lands for all New Brunswickers.” Whether that includes $50 million increased timber royalties this year, or some lesser amount, his department won’t say.

Adding to the confusion and questions is New Brunswick Finance Minister Ernie Steeves, who updated his budget numbers in a first-quarter report in August but included no projections for revenue increases expected from increased timber royalties.

FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.