For the first time in five years, Prince George is hosting the BC Council of Forest Industries convention.
Recognized as the largest annual gathering of the forest sector in Western Canada, the COFI convention got underway last night at the Prince George Civic and Conference Centre with an icebreaker reception.
Delegates will gather in the main hall Thursday morning for the first keynote address at 8:30 a.m.
Terry Teegee, regional chief for the B.C. Assembly of First Nations will speak about the latest developments in the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, which the province passed into law in 2019.
Morning sessions will tackle topics on the future of forestry and what is going on in our forests, how to create sustainable and resilient supply chain networks and prospects for the forestry workforce.
At 12:45 p.m. Thursday, BC Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston will deliver his keynote speech.
After a discussion about forest technology/digitizing solutions, a group panel will take the stage that includes Ray Ferris, president and CEO of West Fraser; Chief Sharleen Gale, chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition; Stew Gibson, chief operating officer of Paper Excellence; and COFI chair Greg Stewart, president of Prince George-based Sinclar Group Forest Products.
Thursday afternoon, Nathan Cullen, BC Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, will introduce new approaches to land-use planning.
Friday’s morning sessions include: modernizing and growing sustainability in the B.C’s forest industry, winning market share in a carbon-constrained world, and carbon and timber: competition or collaboration.
Premier David Eby will provide the final keynote Friday from 11-11:45 a.m.
Vancouver has been the host of the COFI convention the previous four years. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.