Learning from the forestry bailout

It was announced just before Christmas that the Lord government would be investing $250 million into the forestry industry over the next five years. That’s on top of the $67 million to reopen the pulp mill in Nackawic.

$317 million to support the forestry sector.

Now I don’t have a problem with this incentive program. I feel, however, that somebody needs to point out that this won’t create any new jobs it’s only to sustain the industry we have (keep it from falling deeper. Wouldn’t it be neat if the government put $300 million into creating new jobs? Economic development is so politicized in this province. The government hires a world-reknowned forestry expert from Scandanavia to recommend a sustainable forestry model. The Scandanavians are experts at managing their forests. The consultant tables his report and environmentalists kick and scream so the government backs away from the ‘sustainable’ model. The industry continues to suffer and gets a massive bailout. Politics keeps the government from implementing a sustainable (and industry supported) model and politics dictates a $250M bailout.

But, interestingly, there is no political impetus to create new jobs in new industries in New Brunswick communities.

So we don’t do it.

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0 Responses to Learning from the forestry bailout

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dude, clearly you don’t know much about forestry if you think that the government has backed away from the Jaacko-Poyyry report because of environmentalists. Tree farms are the order of the day, the only concession which the government made to environmentalists was not cut down the forest as fast as Irving, et al., wished-and this was because their own scientists told them they didn’t know what would happen.

    Scandinavians are not known as ‘forest experts’ they are known as ‘tree farm experts’ because that’s ALL scandinavian forests are now. But take a look at the legislation, it is to get government out of regulating the industry whatsoever and let the big five turn the province into tree farms. This new money is exactly what the LNG tax deal was-a cheque for Irving and the other four multinationals. It isn’t even tied to job creation or job KEEPING for pete’s sake. This is, after all, New Brunswick.

    If they were serious, most of this money would be tied to value added products, or specific forestry initiatives like the Fundy model forest, but it isn’t. It’s why New Brunswick is a political backwater, it’s government is RUN by a very few companies. Until it gets out from under their thumb all economic development will be bubkus.

    Believe me, when it comes to forestry, it’s the natives and environmentalists that have the business plan that will create forestry jobs-not the big five, who will pack up and move whenever its convenient. At least in Scandinavia their forests are PUBLICLY managed and the jobs and profits go to the country, not the big five. And certainly not scandinavian forestry consultants who are as crooked as they come.

  2. David Campbell says:

    I appreciate your perspective and I will cede knowledge of this sector to you. However, I still think that we need to grapple with that sector in a more holistic way. Will it support 20,000 jobs in perpetuity? Based on my discussions with a few people that should know, the answer is no.