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Kelowna  

Premier bearing gifts

It's just good manners to bring a gift when you are invited to someone's house.

Premier Christy Clark minded her manners when she spoke Friday, at the conclusion of the Council of Forest Industries Convention in Kelowna.

Clark announced the province will be investing $8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood, help advance wood building systems and products, and to expand global markets for B.C. wood products.

"Some of that is going to Canada Wood Group to continue expanding the use of wood in China, Korea and Japan," said the premier.

"Some of that will go to COFI to support them in the same markets and, as you probably know, we are investing $5 million in opening door for our wood products in a brand new market, in India."

Clark said in India alone, a million new people are joining the work-force every month for the next 15 years.

"You know what happens when people join the work force? They want to build a house.  Lets make sure they want to build that house with wood."

Clark touched on a number of topics during her keynote speech Friday.

On a managed trade agreement with the United States, Clark echoed comments made by Forests Minister Steve Thomson when he opened the convention Thursday morning.

Clark said a softwood lumber deal with the U.S. needs to work for B.C. She said the province will not accept a deal that includes quotas.

There is positive news on that front after Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama agreed to get to a deal and a timeline in which to get there.

"You were a part of that. Industry leaders that talk to MP's, who met with the ambassador, who spent time educating and making sure everybody understood the importance of this issue to British Columbia," said Clark.

"We've got it on the national agenda. But, I want you to know I understand, and Steve understands we haven;t got it across the line yet."

She said British Columbia has some vital softwood interests to protect and, whatever deal is made, it will be one that is good for the province.

On innovation, Clark said the forest industry is part of the solution to all of the climate change problems the world has.

Clark said it's part of the way the province can offer a solution for Canada.

She pointed to large, wood buildings such as the 18 storey wood-frame building being constructed at UBC.

"It's an example for the world of how to build with wood."

"Polymers, bio-plastics, greener adhesives, all of that which low quality wood goes to produce. All of that and the effort to use every speck of fibre that's out there is part of the contribution that British Columbia is going to make."

The three day convention wrapped up today.



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