Fighting chance of B.C. Forest industry

letter

To the editor:

After years of tough times, the new 10 per cent HST is giving B.C.’s forestry industry a real, fighting chance.

The Council of Forest Industries ships about 80 per cent of B.C.’s and 35 per cent of Canada’s softwood lumber.

Our members run about 100 facilities in more than 60 forest-dependent communities.

Returning to the old, higher 12 per cent PST-GST will put our employees, their families and our industry at risk.

We employ nearly 55,000 people and more than 150,000 families directly and indirectly depend on our member companies for their livelihood and financial security.

In recent years, I’ve witnessed the rise, fall and recovery of our industry, so I can tell you with good authority that the 10 per cent HST is making forestry more competitive in every corner of the province.

Simply put, the HST is one of the best things the government has done for forestry jobs in the past decade.

It’s protecting jobs. It’s creating new jobs. It’s helping us operate our businesses more efficiently, while producing better products at lower prices for consumers.

Reinstate the PST-GST and the recovery of our forestry industry will take a giant step backwards.

Let’s do what’s right for B.C. and vote NO to keep the HST.

John Allan,

President and Chief Executive Officer

Council of Forest Industries