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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2024PREM0020-000549
April 12, 2024
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
Ministry of Forests
B.C. continues investments to support forest sector

VANCOUVER – The Province is partnering with forestry manufacturers to build a strong forest-products sector and support good jobs in B.C. through significant capital expansion in their operations.

“While workers and businesses in the forest sector have faced significant challenges over the past few years, there are tremendous opportunities out there in producing made-in-B.C. sustainable forest products,” said Premier David Eby. “That’s why our government is working together with the sector to help them transition to high-value product lines that make the best use of every tree harvested, while creating and protecting good, family-supporting jobs. These investments are a blueprint for the stronger, cleaner economic future we’re building here in British Columbia.”

Through the $180-million BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF), the Province has committed as much as $70.3 million to forest-sector transition and diversification across 50 projects, which will create and sustain more than 2,500 jobs. Investments are focused on boosting high-quality, made-in-B.C. wood-product lines that create more sustainable jobs for every tree harvested.

The advanced wood manufacturing projects receiving BCMJF funding represent more than $334 million in total capital investment within B.C.’s forest industry, reflecting diverse aspects of the intricately connected sector, including the production of new made-in-B.C. wood products, processed waste-wood residuals and biofuels. Many BCMJF investments will help meet the significant domestic and international demand, particularly in the homebuilding and construction industries, for engineered wood products, such as mass timber, panels and composite lumber.

A-1 Trusses Ltd., a Surrey-based company that manufacturers wood trusses and engineered wood products for residential and commercial construction, is maximizing the opportunity to meet demand in this growth sector.

“This injection fuels our commitment to innovation as we diversify our product line to include prefab floor and wall systems,” said Gary Khera, president, A-1 Trusses Ltd. “It also aligns with our mission of building a sustainable Canada for the next century.”

Through the BCMJF, the Government of B.C. is contributing as much as $9.5 million to A-1 Trusses’ significant expansion that will create 125 jobs as the company diversifies its product offerings to include prefabricated wall panels and floor cassettes. A-1’s expanded operations will minimize waste and help meet the demand within the local housing market for off-site building components, which aligns with the Province’s BC Builds commitment to lower construction costs, speed up timelines and deliver more affordable homes to B.C. residents.

Support for wood-product manufacturing throughout B.C. is an ongoing focus of the BCMJF, and the investments being made by the forestry sector are a strong signal of an industry in the process of transitioning, stabilizing and growing.

Funding through the BCMJF is part of a series of programs the Province has introduced to support sustainability in B.C.’s forestry sector. In January 2023, the Ministry of Forests introduced a new program to establish a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers, and to increase the flow of fibre and find ways to expand local production of high-value wood products. A strong made-in-B.C. wood-manufacturing industry diversifies the forestry sector, creating new jobs and protecting existing jobs while buffering against global market challenges.

The Province is taking action through the StrongerBC Economic Plan to build a strong and sustainable economy through clean and inclusive growth. Supporting local manufacturing sectors helps build a more innovative economy for people, businesses and communities throughout B.C.

Quotes:

Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation –

"We’ve got an opportunity to reinforce B.C.’s forestry sector and establish a more consistent, resilient environment for its workers throughout our province. We are very pleased to see so many organizations step forward to be part of a renewed vision of forestry in B.C. We’ll continue investing alongside the industry as it continues to build towards an optimistic and sustainable future.”

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests –

"Investments by both government and the forestry sector continue to support new opportunities and good jobs in B.C.’s forestry communities. Underpinning these investments is a confidence in forestry’s future, as we sustainably manage our forests for their full value. Our made-in-B.C. manufacturing sector is hitting its stride, and with so many new wood manufacturing lines coming on over the coming months and years, it’s an exciting time to be a part of forestry in B.C.”

Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford –

"It’s great news that a homegrown company like A-1 is committing to growing their operations right here in Surrey. By creating 125 new, sustainable jobs through their expansion, A-1 is helping our vibrant community grow and become more resilient, while also contributing to the need for innovative products for building more homes.”

Quick Facts:

  • The BCMJF supports high-value industrial and manufacturing capital projects in all sectors, which will create and protect well-paying jobs.
  • The BCMJF has committed as much as $88.2 million to B.C.’s manufacturing sector – of which $70.3 million is for forest sector transition – supporting 75 organizations to expand and grow.
  • This total includes significant investments that will be shared in the coming weeks, beginning with the funding provided to A-1 Trusses Ltd.
  • Funds committed to date through BCMJF will help create more than 1,000 jobs and protect nearly 2,000 existing manufacturing jobs throughout B.C., more than 2,500 of which are in the forest sector.

Learn More:

To learn about the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund, visit: https://gov.bc.ca/ManufacturingJobsFund   

To learn about the StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan

 
Contacts:
 
Jimmy Smith
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
jimmy.smith@gov.bc.ca
 
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
Media Relations
250 883-2068
 
Ministry of Forests
Media Relations
250 896-4320
 

 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect