SURREY, British Columbia – Teal Jones Group heaped praise on Louisiana officials and railed against what it views as anti-business policies of the British Columbia government in a news release announcing plans for building a sawmill in Plain Dealing, La.
The new $110.5 million southern yellow pine lumber plant is expected to create 125 direct jobs with average annual salaries of $47,000, plus benefits. It will be Teal Jones’ fifth mill in the United States.
“State and local officials made it an easy investment decision,” states Teal Jones’ press release. “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.”
After noting, “BC is our home, and our commitment to the province remains strong,” Teal and Jones' press release takes digs against the BC government.
“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.”
In a separate press release issued by Louisiana Economic Development, the LED estimates the project would also support at least 369 indirect jobs, including up to 120 construction jobs at peak construction. At full capacity, the mill will have an annual production capacity of 300 million board feet.
“Louisiana’s wealth of timber resources has made it a prime destination for lumber and sawmill investment over the past several years,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The proposed plans by Teal Jones and partner investors would bring tremendous economic activity and good jobs to Louisiana’s Northwest region.”
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.