New building code changes already leading to investments in wood innovation and good jobs in B.C.

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CASTLEGAR – Recent building code changes by the New Democrat government are already having a positive effect, with the announcement of a new $35-million mass timber plant in the West Kootenays by locally-owned Kalesnikoff Lumber.

“Expanding B.C.’s innovative wood-products sector and helping create more jobs and new markets for B.C. wood products is one of my top priorities as minister,” said New Democrat Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson. “We’re very excited that Kalesnikoff Lumber is taking the bold step and expanding their operations. They are a great example of innovation in B.C.’s forest sector.”

Kalesnikoff Lumber announced the investment one day after the province announced changes to the BC Building Code, allowing 12-storey mass timber structures, up from the previous six. The investment will see the construction of a new 110,000 sq. ft. building, and the creation of 50 new, full-time jobs.

“Kalesnikoff Lumber’s announcement is exciting for our community, especially considering the challenges the forestry industry has faced in the last decade or so,” said Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy. “Our government wanted to create more opportunities in the wood-products sector, and it’s great to see Kalesnikoff Lumber take advantage of that to create jobs and economic growth right here in the Kootenays.”

This announcement is not only great news for people in the West Kootenays, but will make a real difference across B.C. by allowing faster construction of affordable housing, as mass timber technology allows large sections of a building to be manufactured in a plant and then assembled quickly on site. “Industry leaders like Kalesnikoff Lumber will be able to help our government deliver the affordable homes people need faster, in communities here and right across B.C.,” said Conroy.

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