TLA convention to focus on broad vision for coast industry

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - The 500 coastal businesses that make up the
TLA will unveil this year's convention and trade show under the banner:
"Valuing coastal forests; One big puzzle, many small pieces." Organizers plan
to make the convention the kick-off for a broad, long-term vision for a
profitable, sustainable coast forest industry - complete with a renewed
commitment from government.
    "Our industry is very diverse, made up of many businesses and individuals
each of which has a clear set of needs and interests. In other words, there
are a great many pieces to the coast forest puzzle, and we need to get all
those pieces on the table in order to complete the puzzle," said Dave Lewis,
TLA Executive Director.
    "It is absolutely critical that we see a renewed commitment from the
provincial government and a recapturing of public support as we develop a
long-term strategy for BC's coastal forest industry that incorporates the
needs of each and every key stakeholder," Lewis said.
    "This year's convention will provide a forum for industry participants to
express their views about the future. Following our convention the TLA will
provide leadership to work with these industry participants to develop a
comprehensive, inclusive and realistic long-term vision for our coastal forest
industry," Lewis said.
    "But make no mistake - without a long-term vision, increased support from
the public and a renewed commitment from government, we won't unlock the real
value of this industry."
    The annual conference and trade show, slated for January 15 through 18 at
the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, continues to be the main event
for contractors, suppliers and communities whose lifeblood is the coastal
forests. As in other years, the 2008 event will feature a "who's who" of
speakers, trade show exhibitors and conference attendees.
    Premier Gordon Campbell is confirmed to address the delegates during
lunch on Friday, January 18. Other speakers include Guujaaw, President of the
Haida Nation, Vancouver Province political columnist Michael Smyth, and Don
Bendickson, President, Truck Loggers Association.

    The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents more than 500 independent
forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British
Columbia. Our industrial members employ 6,500 British Columbians and account
for close to 90 per cent of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes
a thriving, sustainable forest industry in BC, and fosters communication and
education within resource communities, urban centres and governments.

For further information:

For further information: Sandy McKellar, TLA Director of Communications,
Phone: (604) 916-9117 (mobile), (604) 681-4291 (office), or visit the TLA

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