The BC government is deferring a timber harvesting fee charged to forest companies in an effort to help the struggling industry survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government will not collect stumpage fees for the next three months. The Forest ministry has indicated that the deferral not a subsidy because it must be repaid, with interest. The deferral will leave eligible companies with an estimated $80 million in the short term, so they can pay employees, pay contractors and pay other bills. With the average cost of lumber down, the Ministry hopes that this will help see the industry through to a rebound.