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Raw log exports hurting coastal communities

A report by a left-leaning think tank is taking issue with the number of raw logs exported from the province.

The report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Ben Parfitt says more raw logs were exported between 2013 and 2016 than any previous 4-year period.

He says raw log exports hit coastal regions particularly hard where one in three logs are exported in raw form.

Forests minister Steve Thomson says there’s already a policy in place that ensures only surplus raw logs are exported.

But Parfitt says that policy isn’t working.

He adds rural communities would benefit the greatest from value-added industries.

But minister Thomson says one of the strengths of the province’s forestry sector is that it’s highly diversified.

The report says approximately 26-million cubic metres of raw logs were exported during that four-year timeframe and at least 3,600 jobs would have been created if they were processed locally.

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