Vancouver, B.C. – The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) has announced that Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, will provide a keynote address from Washington, D.C., to delegates at COFI’s annual convention taking place virtually on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Ambassador Kirsten Hillman to COFI’s convention this April,” said Susan Yurkovich, President, and CEO of COFI. “In these early days of a new administration south of the border, we look forward to hearing Ambassador Hillman’s perspective from Washington and her insights into the future of our trade relations, the softwood lumber dispute, and the Canada-U.S. relationship.”

Kirsten Hillman was appointed Canada’s Ambassador to the United States on March 26, 2020, having served as Deputy Ambassador since August 2017 and Acting Ambassador since August 2019. With her prior role overseeing all of Canada’s trade policy and negotiations, Ambassador Hillman is an experienced advocate for Canada’s economic interests in the United States and in Europe. She has led many economic and trade files including softwood lumber.

This year’s COFI convention is being held virtually on Thursday, April 8, 2021, from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. Hundreds of delegates – industry executives, managers, suppliers, businesses, and government and First Nations leaders – are expected to virtually attend. Other confirmed speakers include the Hon. Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, forestry CEOs, a panel on charting a sustainable future, and more. A preliminary convention program can be found here.

B.C.’s forest industry is a cornerstone of the B.C. economy, representing over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, contributing nearly $13 billion to the provincial GDP and generating close to $4 billion in annual revenues to municipal, provincial and federal governments in recent years to help fund important public services like health care and education.