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Section 2 - Taking It All Away - Communities on Haida Gwaii say Enough is Enough

Cover | Introduction | Goodbye Wood, Goodbye Jobs | Where the Cut Goes
Lower the Cut - Retain the Jobs | Redesigning the Status Quo
Untenable Tenure | Hitting the Wall
Islands Community Stability Initiative

Let's examine the four major forest companies on the Islands - MacMillan Bloedel, Husby Forest Products, TimberWest and Western Forest Products. None of them operate production facilities on the Islands. (MacMillan Bloedel has a small, custom-cut mill on the Islands that has sporadically processed "salvaged" yellow cedar and spruce cants. But the mill is underequipped, poorly designed, and is now closed.)

MACMILLAN BLOEDEL ( see illustration )
MacMillan Bloedel's AAC on Haida Gwaii totals 1.2-million cubic metres from a variety of TFL, Timber Licences and private holdings. According to the company and its contractors, this generates a total of 304 on-Island jobs including 33 salaried staff. Most of these are in logging and log-transportation.

Another 97 direct logging jobs go to off-Island residents who work for MacMillan Bloedel's contractors. Since MacMillan Bloedel does not operate a local mill, all processing jobs generated from its Haida Gwaii cut go to off-Island residents. Using the provincial productivity index, the estimated number of processing jobs generated from that cut is 1,046 jobs. When those processing jobs are added to the logging jobs held by off-Island residents, the number jumps to 1,143 jobs.
On Haida Gwaii - 304 jobs.
Off Haida Gwaii - 1,143 jobs.

Ratio: 1 to 3.8.

Between 1988 and 1992, Statistics Canada said the average employee wage before tax and excluding benefits was just under $50,000. When this is applied to the above job-generation figures for MacMillan Bloedel, the following picture emerges.
On Haida Gwaii: $15.1 million.
Off Haida Gwaii: $56.9 million.
HUSBY FOREST PRODUCTS ( see illustration )
Next to MacMillan Bloedel in terms of volume of timber logged on Haida Gwaii is Husby Forest Products. The company holds three Forest Licences in the Queen Charlotte TSA with a combined AAC of about 342,000 cubic metres. That cut, according to the socio-economic analysis of the Queen Charlotte TSA, generates 162 jobs. Of those jobs, 130 accrue to off-Island residents.

Of the 342,000 cubic metres logged, approximately 10 percent- 34,000 cubic metres - is waste. That leaves a total of 308,000 cubic metres. Until recently, all of that went off-Island.

This year, Husby has sold 18,000 cubic metres to one of Haida Gwaii's local sawmills - Abfam Enterprises Ltd. in Port Clements. Abfam and Husby have a verbal agreement (not a contract) in which Husby may sell up to 50,000 cubic metres of cedar per year to Abfam. If Husby sells the total volume to Abfam, it should provide employment to 30 mill workers. However, there is no guarantee this will happen - in fact, the deal now appears to be in limbo. The Abfam mill is currently out of wood and its employees laid off pending more log sales from Husby.

Assuming Abfam gets no more wood, here's how the employment picture from Husby's cut breaks down. In logging, it provides 32 jobs on Haida Gwaii. Off Haida Gwaii, Husby's cut generates 130 direct jobs in logging and log transportation-related enterprises. In off-Island processing, it generates an
estimated 295 direct jobs.
On Haida Gwaii - 32 jobs.
Off Haida Gwaii - 425 jobs.

Ratio: 1 to 13.2.
On Haida Gwaii - $1.6 million.
Off Haida Gwaii - $21.1 million.
TIMBERWEST ( see illustration )
TimberWest's cut on Haida Gwaii is split between a Tree Farm Licence, Forest Licence and several Timber Licences giving the company an annual cut of about 130,000 cubic metres of timber. Logging activities generate 85 full-time jobs including salaried employees. All the jobs are held by Island residents.

Since the company operates no local processing facility, all milling jobs go to off-Island residents, estimated at 123 jobs.
On Haida Gwaii - 85 jobs.
Off Haida Gwaii - 123 jobs.

Ratio: 1 to 1.45.
On Haida Gwaii - $4.23 million.
Off Haida Gwaii - $6.12 million.
WESTERN FOREST PRODUCTS ( see illustration )
Western Forest Products has a Tree Farm Licence on Haida Gwaii with an annual cut of 115,000 cubic metres. That cut supports 29 logging jobs, 23 of which go to off-Island residents.

Again, the company has no local milling facilities. The total number of off-Island processing jobs created by Western's log shipments is an estimated 109 jobs.
On Haida Gwaii - 6 jobs.
Off Haida Gwaii - 132 jobs.

Ratio: 1 to 22.
On Haida Gwaii - $299,000.
Off Haida Gwaii - $6.57 million.
While the numbers vary from company to company, the pattern is clear. The overwhelming majority of jobs and social and economic benefits are enjoyed by off-Island residents. In total, 427 direct jobs go to on-Islands residents, versus 1,823 direct jobs to off-Island residents. On average, that's one job created on Haida Gwaii for every four created elsewhere. On the financial side the ratio is the same. The total estimated wage generation on-Island is $21.2 million. Off-Island, wages are $90.6 million.
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