Dec 20, 2021News
Last week Louisiana Economic Development issued a media release announcing Teal Jones is investing $110.5 million USD to build a lumber mill in that US state. We’re in the final stages of planning the project.
State and local officials made it an easy investment decision. They were welcoming, understood our needs, and offered a lot of information. The state offers a stable investment climate with consistent rules and taxes, so we can invest with confidence. We’re grateful for that, and look forward to doing our part in return – creating good jobs and contributing to state coffers.
Once complete our new mill will directly employ about 125 people in good, new jobs. We will produce about 300 million board feet of lumber at the mill annually, crafting a range of speciality and dimensional lumber cut from southern yellow pine. The lumber will provide the materials needed to support more jobs at downstream operations – homebuilders, transport, companies turning lumber into finished products such as furniture, and a lot more. The sawdust and chips left over from milling will go to local pulp, paper, and pellet plants.
This will be our fifth mill in the USA – the fourth added earlier this year when we purchased an existing operation in Mississippi.
BC is our home, and our commitment to the province remains strong. We employ more than 1,000 people in the province, the majority of those in milling and value-added manufacturing. We continue to invest our income earned in the province locally, committing to $60 million in investment in our primary Surrey site since 2019. Much of that investment went into updating our small log mill, which uses modern technology to maximize the value we get from smaller second-growth logs.
We are the kind of forestry company BC’s government talks about wanting here.
Despite this, BC does not appear to be as committed to us. It has become a high-cost and uncertain place to do business. In 2021 the BC NDP government doubled stumpage taxes; undertook radical changes to forest policy without consulting the industry, First Nations, or most other stakeholders; and announced it will force the most successful BC forest companies to give up land tenure, while changing the rules to minimize compensation companies will receive for that.
We would like to create more jobs and investment here, but it’s not practical under current conditions.
That compels us to look for opportunities elsewhere. If BC’s NDP government is concerned about companies like Teal Jones investing in other jurisdictions it should take a hard look in the mirror. Investment dollars, jobs and economic prosperity always flow to places that are welcoming- not obstructionist.