Promoting and focusing on mass timber technology is the latest of the NDP’s campaign promises.
Announced in Revelstoke today, Oct. 3, John Horgan said mass timber construction has a reduced carbon footprint when sourced from sustainably managed forests.
“Expanding the use of new technologies, like mass timber, will help create new opportunities for workers and communities while helping us meet our net-zero target for reducing carbon pollution,” said Horgan.
In June, Horgan appointed Ravi Kahlon to lead the expansion and use of mass timber in B.C. buildings.
Mass timber is a relatively recent technology originating out of Europe that’s touted as a sustainable building material. The most common is cross-laminated timbers made with layers of wood glued together in alternating sizes, which give it high structural stability.
There are plans for several public buildings to be constructed using mass timber in the future, including student housing at BCIT and a hospital in Vancouver.
However, one building in Langford recently had to buy mass timber from Austria, Horgan said.
“It strikes me as slightly beyond odd that the a forest dependent community like the one that I live in had to find mass timber in Europe.”
Horgan said a re-elected NDP government would see builds within the province use mass timber made in the province and there is ample opportunity for to export the product as well.
“We want to start selling more than just two-by-fours,” he said. “We want to stop sending raw logs.”
Horgan said this new focus in the forestry industry will mean less trees cut down.
“Old growth forests are critical to habitat, they are also critical to British Columbians,” he said.
Horgan made the announcement alongside NDP candidate for Columbia River Revelstoke, Nicole Cherlet.
“Building with B.C. wood is good for the economy and the environment. It will create thousands of jobs, reduce carbon pollution and support forest-dependent communities,” she said.
The NDP promises that if re-elected, their government will keep building on mass timber progress.
Yesterday, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson took his campaign to Merritt Friday, promising to stabilize the forest industry with “working forest” guarantees, and vowing to get tough on protests targeting pipeline and other projects that have permits to build.
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