The CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada was in Golden last week. He and MP Wayne Stetski, toured the LP mill to discover what issues and opportunities are available in the community and to make any necessary improvements..
Derek Nighbor represents Canada’s forest products sector on two global boards. As CEO he represents Canada’s vibrant and innovative forests products sector and the critical role it plays in over 600 Canadian forest communities. During his visit Nighbor was also able to meet with Councilor Chris Hambruch and Kicking Horse County Chamber of Commerce executive director Shelley Wadden to gain further insight into the most pressing matters facing Golden.
“I understood housing issues is a common concern in the community,” Nighbor said. “It seemed to be a running theme in my discussions.”
Through his discussions Nighbor was able to gain insights on how important jobs in forestry are to Golden and how more support is needed for a strong mill and work force.
The past year was a tough one for British Columbia forestry in two ways. One was losing over a million hectares of acres to fires in the interior and the other being the ravaging of the Pine Beetle. Over 60 per cent of the pine trees in BC were lost because of the pest. Nighbor says it is going to be challenging to ensure companies can harvest the number of trees needed to support their businesses.
Nighbor said these issues are evidence of climate change in Canada’s forests and sustainable forest management and actively managing our forests will be an important tool to help in the fight against climate change.
“If we were to stop cutting down all trees tomorrow, they would either end up burning or rotting and then turning into carbon emitters,” Nighbor said. “So one of the important things we’re talking about throughout Canada and with politicians is the important role forestry plays in our national fight against climate change.”
Touring the mill with MP Stetski was an opportunity for Nighbor to bring him up to speed on a number of issues facing the mill as well as Golden.
Nighbor said these visits are important for the Forest Products Association of Canada as it allows them to talk with governments and help the mills
“There are 600 mills like Golden throughout Canada,” Nighbor said. “It’s important for us to get out to those mills and talk with local leadership to ensue that we can continue to support jobs in good communities like this.”
Overall it was a successful visit and Nighbor hopes he can return to Golden regularly to keep up to date on pressing matters in the community.