Tolko Industries of Vernon says it welcomes news that First Nations will play a greater role and share in the profits of forestry in British Columbia
“Tolko welcomes the BC government’s announcement that it will increase the amount of forestry revenue that will be shared with First Nations in the province. This is a step in the right direction in terms of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples,” the Vernon-based company said. said in a statement.
“This is a significant move with a real commitment to the government’s stated intentions to modernize provincial forest policy, including First Nations involvement in the forest industry.
Tolko has divisions in Armstrong, Lavington, Heffley Creek, Lake Country, Williams Lake, Soda Creek, Lumby, and is headquartered in Vernon. It also has operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and partnerships in the United States.
While Tolko says there are “a number of significant challenges facing the BC forest industry, particularly with respect to fiber availability and cost,” he continues, “We have always been optimistic about the possibility of having a modern, prosperous and sustainable industry. As a company, we very much look forward to playing a leadership role in building that future and working to secure a greater role and position for First Nations in BC forestry. »
Tolko says it’s not just about the money.
“Increasing revenue sharing is a key part of this, but it is not just a question of financial resources. In our view, success in creating a thriving and sustainable sector will require commitment, creativity and collaboration of all three parties: industry and businesses like ours, First Nations and government.
“Specifically, this will require reaching a common understanding of what is needed to address the challenges facing the industry, and a common agreement on where and how resources should be allocated. Priority will need to be given to issues such as secure access to fiber, First Nations forest capacity building, transitional supports as these capacities increase and consideration of the costs of reorienting supply chains.
“All three parties will need to work closely together if true success is to be achieved.”
Tolko called the provincial announcement a significant step.
“We look forward to actively participating in the co-development of a new forestry model in the weeks and months to come,” the company concluded.
This decision was also welcomed by the BC Council of Forest Industries.
Currently, 126 BC First Nations already receive a share of BC Timber’s stumpage revenue and sales. The announcement could add another 60 First Nations to this list.
The share of revenue received will also increase under a longer-term revenue sharing model jointly developed by the province and First Nations.
Forests Minister Katrine Conroy said First Nations received three to five percent of forest revenues last year, totaling $58 million.