When the B.C. Truck Loggers Association (TLA) convenes their 71st Annual Convention and Trade Show in Vancouver tomorrow, the theme will explore industry renewal. “The Business of Logging – A New Era, is about renewal,” says Dwight Yochim, TLA Executive Director. “Contractors are looking to re-tool, re-capitalize and re-hire in order to ensure they have the capacity to support a growing coastal harvest.”
Following Premier Christy Clark’s arrival in an off-highway logging truck at last year’s TLA Convention, expectations will be high when she returns for an encore presentation at Thursday’s sold-out luncheon. At a Friday breakfast meeting, Minister of Forests Steve Thomson will speak to maximizing the opportunities for the coastal forest industry. According to Yochim, “The goal is to address the issues that must be overcome in order to safeguard logging and road building capacity and make sure coastal logging contractors can re-invest in their operations and employees.” Amongst many other speakers, Daryl Swetlishoff is scheduled to provide perspectives on various global markets and the Super Cycle as it applies to the coastal forest sector. Full convention guide available here.
Earlier today I spoke with Brenda Martin, Director of Communications at TLA. She notes the TLA Convention this week represents a return to Vancouver after four consecutive years in Victoria. The Westin Bayshore Hotel, convention headquarters, is sold out. It was particularly interesting to hear Brenda point to a possible trend of people beginning to return from the oil patch to the coast, to start/resume careers in a recovering forest industry. Intangibles for skilled workers include the West Coast lifestyle and being closer to family. Brenda also suggested that forestry contractor struggles cited in a TLA-commissioned report by Harry Nelson, assistant professor of forest policy and economics at UBC, are improving.
You can follow @truckloggersBC for all the goings on. The TLA is described at their website as “the official voice of independent forest contractors located throughout B.C.’s coastal region. Organized by truck loggers in the 1940’s, it was established to promote their voice in policy and legislation.” The “grassroots connection to coastal communities” is evident in the TLA’s 70th Anniversary Legacy video below.