The one that got away: Habitat for Humanity sees the beauty in Ontario’s lumber that Trump overlooked

Tamar Atik
May 16, 2017
By
May 16, 2017 – Although our neighbour to the south may not be interested in Canada’s lumber, Habitat for Humanity GTA wants to use Ontario’s for a good cause.

Habitat is working with the Ontario Forest Industries Association and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to build 15 new homes for working, low-income families this month.

"Considering the challenges presented by the Trump administration trade action, Ontario's forestry leaders are glad to be working hand in hand with partners to do what our sector has been doing for generations – provide provincially sourced sustainable wood for the building of homes,” said Jamie Lim, president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Forest Industries Association.

"I'm happy to put on my hard hat and get my hammer out to help with this great project for Habitat for Humanity and I'm proud to see representatives from Ontario's forestry sector stepping up and giving back to our communities,” Minister of Natural Resources and Forest Kathryn McGarry said.

With approximately 85 billion trees, Ontario's forests cover two-thirds of the province – a land area equivalent in size to Germany, Italy and the Netherlands combined, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website.

“We have been learning a great deal about the constant renewal of our forests as a result of sustainable forestry and also about the incredible role Canada's forests play in mitigating climate change,” said Ene Underwood, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity GTA.

Less than 0.5 per cent of Ontario's trees are harvested annually, according to the Ministry website.

“By upholding some of the world's best forest management practices, Ontario's forestry community sustainably harvests our forests to ensure that there are renewable wood products available to build and furnish homes for families today and for generations to come,” the OFIA said in a release.

Other participants of the build will include the OFIA's forestry community, members of provincial government, Indigenous leaders and students.

The initiative is taking place on May 18 and 19 at the Pinery Trail site in Toronto (140 Pinery Trail) in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.

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