The biggest problems for the Kootenay economy this year will likely come out of the forestry industry.
So says Mike Calder with BDO Canada who is taking a look at the 2017 financial forecast for the wider region.Calder believes the 24 per cent tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber from the US will present challenges.
He says there’s so many people in our area that depend on forestry directly and indirectly.
It’s estimated the sector provides over 200,000 direct jobs and 300,000 spin-off jobs across Canada.
The previous softwood lumber dispute in 2009 reportedly cost over 20,000 jobs with almost half coming out of BC.
Calder says Diversification is important for the Kootenay’s economy to thrive.
Whether it’s tourism, food and dining, or mining – Calder suggests bringing in new business to our region and encouraging development will increase jobs and lower the unemployment rate.
The Kootenay rate in May was 7.5 per cent – two per cent above the provincial numbers.Numbers reached a 10 year high this past Fall.
– BDO Canada’s Mike Calder
– Josh Hoffman