Concern over forest job loss

The decline of jobs in the forest industry as a result of layered taxes and increased government costs is something all B.C. residents should be concerned about, says Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. 

President Nikki Csek believes all levels of government should be trying to lower costs rather than allowing cost increases, which in turn affect the forest industry and B.C.'s economy. 

“It’s time all British Columbians understand how important the resource sector is to our economy and when we see a crisis such as that being experienced in the forest sector it is incumbent on all levels of government to reflect on what they can do to respond. One way is to understand that increased taxes and fees that are under their control are a contributing factor."

This year alone, stumpage costs, carbon taxes and property taxes have increased, as well as federal corporate tax changes and new higher employer health taxes for firms with a payroll over $500,000.

Csek says these changes are pushing crews into Alberta and the U.S. and forcing more closures.

“At every turn, it appears taxes and fees are going up and this is having a negative impact on the forest sector and on individuals who are also struggling to make ends meet. We are calling for greater leadership from the Province and other levels of government to take action to reduce the costs that are under their control. While there are many factors influencing the situation in the forest sector it is undeniable that increased taxes and fees are having a negative impact.”

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