As part of the industrial bedrock of our community and our history, forestry continues to play a major role in our economy. More than 6% of jobs in Campbell River are connected to the forestry sector (Source:
Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey, Table 99-012-X2011034), and over the decades, a highly-skilled local workforce has been created. Campbell River has built an established infrastructure system and boasts a strong network of industry leaders. Local educational opportunities are available at both secondary and postsecondary institutions, and more opportunities for growth are constantly explored, including value-added processing and manufacturing.
Local Business Environment
- The forestry sector in Campbell River is a tight-knit group of companies, suppliers and stakeholders who work closely with the community to ensure growth and sustainability for years to come.
- Local companies work directly with forestry companies to develop innovative solutions in advanced manufacturing, transportation, automated equipment and engineering.
- Provincial and federal grants and supportive investments are available through groups such as the Forest Enhancement Society and the Forests for Tomorrow program.
Suppliers and supportive vendors for the coastal logging industry have grown up alongside forestry as a part of our community, creating hundreds of local jobs and offering massive benefits compared to other localities in British Columbia and across Canada. Forestry alone makes up more than 6% of jobs in Campbell River. (Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey, Table 99-012-X2011034)
Campbell River is the home base for hundreds of forestry workers who operate in remote work-camp settings, providing a place for employees and their families to thrive.
Our municipal government has historically supported the forestry sector here, and continues to do so. That work has included developing the Forestry Task Force, which worked for two years to identify challenges and solutions for local forestry companies in both business and tourism capacities.
Activities conducted include:
- Publishing a Forestry Information Supplement along with three related articles
- Working with North Island Employment Foundations Society to hold a Forestry Employment Expo in
September 2017, which featured approximately 20 industry participants and attracted approximately 100 attendees
- Working with Tremain Media to produce the minidocumentary, Our Forests, Our People, Our Future
- Funding a Vancouver Island Economic Alliance project to explore opportunities for value-added
wood production on the island
Land & Real Estate
Campbell River has developed access to several thousand hectares of harvestable timber in our region, and careful management ensures that the industry will remain stable for decades. In addition, land and commercial space is available for companies to create value-added products, including:
- More than 500 acres of vacant industrial land, plus nearly 500 acres of industrial land
- Large industrial parcels, including eight vacant parcels of 50+ acres and five vacant parcels of
- Vacant industrial land, suitable for a full range of wood processing and manufacturing activities,
including premium sites close to major highways and tidewater
(Source: Campbell River Employment Land Strategy)
Campbell River boasts a well-connected transportation system that works well for the forestry industry, connecting rural and urban markets across land and sea.
- Local tugboat operators tow log-booms to global market access through the ports of Nanaimo and Vancouver.
- There is an extensive network of well-developed and maintained logging roads.
- Highways lead to rural West Island and North Island communities.
- There is air access into Campbell River by floatplane, helicopter or passenger jet, from remote locations and urban cities.
Total number of Jobs generated in BC: 57,000
Campbell River is home to 115 logging companies and 33 forestry service companies. (Source: Statistics Canada Business Counts)
The timber supply in coastal BC is projected to remain stable for decades to come. (Source: Statistics Canada Business Counts)
In 2017, the Government of British Columbia reported that $992 million in government revenue was attributable to the forest sector. (Source: https://www.bcfi i.ca/bc-forests-andmarkets/bc-forest-sector-overview)
(Source: https://www.bcfi i.ca/bc-forests-andmarkets/bc-forest-sector-overview)
These are the most common occupations in forestry. Rows highlighted in green show occupations that are substantially more common in Campbell River, indicating a strong local supply of these needed skills, compared to BC overall.
Local forestry operators report that union jobs with good wages are increasingly attractive to families and young people, and that the quality of life in Campbell River helps attract new people to the workforce.
Access to Resources
- The forestry community in Campbell River continues to work closely with all levels of government to improve access to fibre outputs and support efforts to revitalize forestry policies such as tenure reform.
- Efforts to revive local manufacturing of waste materials, such as pulp, are ongoing, and opportunities continue to arise.
- Working closely with local First Nations and developing
their involvement in forestry is a priority for our local sector.
Forestry companies require access to strong communications infrastructure to support large networks of people and data. In Campbell River, the forestry industry can confidently utilize:
- fleet-level mobile phone networks
- dedicated phone lines across rural areas
- conference calling and videoconference
- large-scale radio communications
- enormous amounts of data transfer between
- companies, satellite offices and operations, government departments and international
- access to CRadvantage, a municipally owned, high-speed, fibre-optic broadband network that
connects the downtown core, with room to expand to other areas in the future
Higher education in forestry and related industries is readily available in the area, from several institutions:
- North Island College: Coastal Forest Worker Certificate, Coastal Log Scaling, Heavy Mechanical
Foundation, Heavy Duty Apprenticeship Training, Industrial Automation Technician Diploma, Welding
Levels B & A
- Vancouver Island University: 2-Year Forest Resources Technology Program, Bachelor of
Natural Resource Protection, Fundamentals of Forest Harvesting Practices Program, Heavy
Equipment Operator, Heavy Duty Mechanical Foundations
- Many companies will also provide entry-level on-the-job training