The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is pleased to welcome Premier Christy Clark as the closing keynote speaker at its 2016 Annual Convention, to be held at the Delta Grand Resort and Convention Centre in Kelowna, B.C. from April 6-8, 2016.
“Premier Clark’s attendance at the COFI Convention demonstrates her understanding of the importance of the forest sector to the economy of B.C.,” said COFI president and CEO Susan Yurkovich.
“Our operating environment is key to the ability of our companies to continue to compete successfully in a global marketplace and to provide jobs and opportunities across our province. The Premier understands this and she and her government are committed to ensuring the future competitiveness of the industry. We appreciate her ongoing commitment.”
In addition to Premier Clark, the provincial government will be well-represented on the convention program, including an opening keynote from Steve Thomson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations (FLNRO), and a discussion with FLNRO Deputy Minister Tim Sheldan and Chief Forester Diane Nicholls. Glenn Mason, Assistant Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada, will also address convention delegates.
B.C. towns and cities will be a prominent part of the program this year. A Community Leaders’ Panel featuring the mayors of Prince George, Williams Lake, West Kelowna and Cranbrook will discuss the issues and opportunities shared by industry and communities.
There are 140 B.C. communities dependent on forestry. The 300 wood products manufacturing facilities in B.C. provide one out of every four manufacturing jobs in the province, and account for 35 per cent of all commodity exports from our province.
“The industry directly and indirectly employs about 145,000 across the province, from Fort St. John to Vancouver, with one in 16 jobs in the province being associated with forestry,” noted Yurkovich. “Those are significant numbers, and at this year’s convention we will be addressing some of the issues of critical importance to our sector and to the many people who rely on it for their livelihood.”