B.C. Premier Christy Clark said the province has to be ready with trained workers as the forestry sector bounces back with new Asian markets to help bolster the industry.
She was talking optimistically and touting her jobs plan while addressing the Truck Loggers Association convention in Victoria today.
Times Colonist reporter Sarah Petrescu was at the Crystal ballroom, tweeting key points from Clark's speech.
The premier got a warm welcome from the TLA and several Liberal MLAs were there to support her.
"We stuck to our jobs plan — and it ain't always sexy to do that ... But our plan is working," she told the convention members.
Clark said that opening new markets in China and India is what helped the B.C. economy and why we are now in the enviable position of having more customers for our forestry products.
There will be a new focus on marketing to the Indian middle-class, she said.
Clark said the forest industry is growing again after problems created by the pine beetle and market fluctuations. Also, the federal government has agreed to tax foregiveness and some contractors should get money back, she said.
"Jobs are coming. We need to fill skilled labour shortages with training programs and jobs fairs. Our kids should be first in line," Clark says.
She also spoke about B.C's leading environmental practices in a province where it "wasn't long ago ... when cutting down a tree was considered bad."
The premier said she wasn't scared of competition for good ideas.
"I stand for a thriving private sector [that] should grow faster than government ... lower taxes, balanced budget, private enterprise," she said, wrapping up her speech before speaking with reporters.
[Get updates from our Twitter feed below]
Times Colonist reporters were at the Truck Loggers Association Convention and Trade Show today for B.C. Premier Christy Clark's speech.
Multimedia journalist Sarah Petrescu live-tweeted key points from her address. You can see updates in the Twitter feeds below.
Times Colonist columnist Les Leyne will also be there and will have his take on the event in Saturday's print edition.
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