BC Chamber of Commerce Statement on Announcement by Canfor and Canfor Pulp

Environment & Climate Change

In response to yesterday’s announcement by Canadian Forest Products (Canfor) and Canfor Pulp, to permanently shut down the Polar Sawmill, shelve the planned reinvestment in the Houston sawmill and indefinitely curtail one production line at their Northwood pulp mill, Fiona Famulak, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement:

“We know that difficult decisions like these are not taken lightly. At the same time, we know the impacts are going to be borne predominantly by workers, families, communities, and the thousands of people across our province, who rely on the forestry sector for their livelihoods. Yesterday’s news is therefore difficult to hear.

The BC Chamber of Commerce has been raising concerns about the cost of doing business in British Columbia for many years. The fact is, in this province, costs are too high for businesses to thrive and to attract the investment needed to maintain profitable operations and employment, especially in our resource dependent communities. 

Furthermore, permitting delays, excessive regulatory burdens and challenges accessing our natural resources are hindering investment opportunities. The reality is, we are seeing capital being allocated to other jurisdictions and not enough being done to attract investment here at home.

The decision by Canfor to divest of its associated tenure is prudent and should happen with expediency; supporting local manufacturing operations should be the number one priority. The BC Chamber of Commerce believes the provincial government should move with haste and ensure they approve the tenure transfer quickly. 

The BC Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate strongly to government for policies and measures that reduce the cost of doing business in B.C., so that businesses and communities across our province can thrive and contribute to the well-being of all British Columbians.”