B.C. defers stumpage fees to aid forest industry during pandemic - InfoNews

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B.C. defers stumpage fees to aid forest industry during pandemic

Logs are seen in an aerial view stacked at the Interfor sawmill, in Grand Forks, B.C., on May 12, 2018.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
April 30, 2020 - 10:36 AM

VICTORIA - The British Columbia government is putting off a timber harvesting fee charged to forestry firms in an effort to help the industry survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier John Horgan says in a news release the government will defer stumpage fees for the next three months to help forest companies with their financial liquidity during the crisis.

Stumpage is the fee forest operators pay the province to harvest, buy or sell trees from Crown land.

The government says the fee deferral leaves eligible companies with about $80 million to pay employees, contractors and other bills.

B.C.'s forest industry was struggling prior to the pandemic; hundreds of workers had been laid off and numerous mills had closed in the Interior due to high operating costs and low timber prices.

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says the deferral may help some companies get back to work sooner and could save other firms from shutting down completely.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 30, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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