Dimension lumber at Canfor sawmill in Williams Lake. (Williams Lake Tribune)

COVID-19: B.C. defers forest stumpage fees for three months

$80 million for industry struggling before pandemic

The B.C. government is deferring collection of stumpage fees on timber harvested from Crown land for three months to help an industry already near a standstill before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deferral, subject to interest charges, is available to holders of tree farm licences, replaceable forest licences and first nations woodland licences, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said April 30. The deferral represents $80 million to assist companies dealing with slumping markets, U.S. border tariffs and now the coronavirus.

Recipients must be in “good financial standing” with the province and proceeding with their replanting obligations for Crown land harvesting, the forests ministry said in a statement.

Donaldson said the 90-day deferral will be reviewed and could be extended if market conditions don’t improve.

RELATED: West Fraser shuts B.C. mills down for pandemic

RELATED: Interfor cuts lumber capacity, capital investment

Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries, agreed with Donaldson that stumpage relief is the industry’s first priority to keep some people operating.

“The deferral of stumpage fees is an important short-term measure to help alleviate some of the unprecedented financial pressure brought on by the COVID-19 crisis,” Yurkovich said. “It will help B.C.’s forest companies put people back to work in communities as markets come back and we move towards economic recovery.”

Donaldson said the deferral is designed to avoid challenges from the U.S. lumber industry, which have resulted in many rulings over three decades. The deferral is not a loan or subsidy in trade law, he said.

B.C. stumpage is calculated every three months to determine the market value of logs harvested from provincial land.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

City of Rossland looks to electrify vehicles and equipment

City council passed three motions on June 1 to work towards commitment

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Trail centenarian looking forward to her letter from the Queen

With COVID protocols quashing gatherings, Irene can only have a small celebration for her 100th bday

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Nelson counsellor works online with university students in central Asia during pandemic

Robin Higgins is home from her job in Tajikistan because of COVID-19

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Angel Flight takes flight from Creston after being grounded by COVID-19

Angel Flight is a volunteer-run organization which gives people flights to doctors appointments

Most Read