B.C. matches forest firms for Japan relief

The provincial government is matching the generosity of five B.C. forest firms by sending another $500,000 to Japan to help the Red Cross provide urgently needed relief after last month’s earthquake and tsunami, Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, announced last Wednesday.

Canfor, the Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership, Interfor, Tolko Industries and West Fraser Timber announced today that they are each contributing $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross, which will transfer the money to the Japanese Red Cross to provide medical supplies, blankets, food, water and other urgently needed materials.

The new funding brings the provincial government’s contribution to $1 million, including the $500,000 provided to the Red Cross on March 17.

All BC Liquor Stores are collecting donations for the relief effort as well.

The provincial government is also working with the forest industry to provide reconstruction assistance to Japan once the immediate needs for emergency aid have been met.

Recent media reports say more than 27,000 people have been killed or are missing following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11, and the subsequent tsunami. Thousands of survivors are still living in evacuation centres, and hundreds of thousands are homeless.

“Our government and B.C.’s forest industry have a long-standing  relationship with Japan, and we are working together to provide relief from the devastation caused by last month’s earthquake and tsunami,” said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.

More information about the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Japan is available at www.redcross.ca or by calling 1 800 418-1111