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Timber! Government boosts tree cut

The provincial government is increasing the allowable timber cut on the BC coast and boosting the export fee on some raw logs in an effort to put more people back to work.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced at the Truck Loggers convention this morning that his government is increasing the availability of coastal timber by 500,000 cubic metres.

In order to dampen the export of raw logs, Thomson says the average export fee would go up by 20 per cent.

The government is chopping the fee for low-and mid-grade logs on the mid-coast in order to increase logging in areas where less valuable timber is growing.

Coastal Forest Products Association president Rick Jeffery estimates the changes could create up to 4,000 new jobs on the BC coast.

But Opposition New Democrat forestry critic Norm Macdonald says Thomson's move will make little difference in saving forestry jobs in the region.

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