Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' report claiming British Columbia is failing to create wood processing jobs by exporting logs 'misses the point' says jobs minister Pat Bell

LOS ANGELES , August 18, 2011 () – A report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that claims British Columbia could create at least 15,000 wood processing jobs by putting a stop to log exports misses the point, says the province's jobs, tourism, and innovation minister Pat Bell.

The report by Ben Parfitt, a policy analyst at the center, criticizes the province for failing to generate sustainable forestry jobs and relying on Chinese market to ship raw and partially processed lumber, HQPrinceGeorge reported.

But Bell says Parfitt's report misses the point. He said China is a brand new market for the province, offering market diversity and the chance to move away from the U.S. as the sole purchaser of British Columbian lumber.

Bell said he was going to stay focused on the Chinese market, noting that lumber exports to China have overtaken those to the U.S. for two months in a row.

In response to Parfitt's suggestion that British Columbia should move away from exporting raw and partially processed lumber in favor of processing the wood locally before exporting it, Bell said Parfitt had failed to acknowledge the opportunities being created by the province's growing wood construction industry.

The primary source of this article is HQPrinceGeorge, Prince George, British Columbia, on Aug., 12, 2011.

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