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Press Release: Minister Thomson announces $1 million replenishment to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund

PRESS RELEASE:

Minister Thomson announces $1 million replenishment to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund

 
May 6, 2016 Vernon – Today Minister Steve Thomson announced an additional $1 million contribution to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund—bringing government’s total fund contributions to $7 million—in a move that supports contractor sustainability and the independent harvesting contractors at the heart of BC’s forest industry. 
 
Thomson made the announcement at the Interior Logging Association’s 58th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Vernon, BC.
 
“Since it came online in 2013, almost $500,000 has been paid from the Fund to contractors who were working for licensees that became insolvent,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “This shows the fund is needed to support contractors left high and dry.”
 
Forest contractors run locally owned businesses that create jobs throughout BC’s rural communities.  When these companies are left in the lurch by a tenure holder that becomes insolvent, the whole community suffers. “We’ve seen this happen more than once,” said Elstone. “And we know that the ripples are felt throughout our communities.”
 
For the first time, silviculture contractors are also able to access the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund. “This is recognition of the important role silviculture plays within the forest sector,” said John Betts, Executive Director of the Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association. “We remain optimistic about the forest sector in BC. Nevertheless, this will provide some business certainty for our member as they contribute to the future forests of BC.”
 
“By his actions, we know Minister Thomson understands that harvesting and silviculture contractors are the economic backbone of BC’s rural communities and values the jobs they create,” said Elstone. “We look forward to the future where the Fund will have an ongoing replenishment mechanism. However, we sincerely thank Minister Thomson for his efforts today.”
 
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents over 460 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90 per cent of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC. 
 
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For more information: Brenda Martin, Director of Communications, The Truck Loggers Association 
Phone: 604.684.4291 ◦ Cell: 604.339.7554 ◦ Fax: 604.684.7134 ◦ Email: brenda@tla.ca
Twitter: @truckloggerBC ◦ Website: www.tla.ca