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OFIA looks to keep forestry jobs in northern, rural ON

Jan. 12, 2018 - The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is holding a hearing in Thunder Bay on Monday, January 15, 2018 regarding Pre-Budget Consultations.

The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) will be presenting to the Standing Committee and believes that by working with government, affected stakeholders, rightsholders, practitioners and professional foresters to strategically increase the sustainable use of our Crown forests will make Ontario a world leader in forestry. 

To maximize the full potential of Ontario’s renewable resource, create well-paying jobs and leave no worker, region or family behind, OFIA will be addressing five key competitive challenges.

“As a province, we need to acknowledge that trees are the answer. Our forests can support growth, sequester carbon through long-term wood products and allow Ontario’s northern and rural communities to thrive," OFIA’s president chief executive officer Jamie Lim stated.

For generations, Ontario’s forest products sector has been putting Ontario’s wood to work responsibly, growing local communities by harvesting and growing trees. Forestry connects and supports over 172,000 hardworking men and women directly and indirectly employed by the sector in every region across the province.

“It is our sector’s ability to adapt and innovate that has allowed us to thrive and remain a foundational pillar in Ontario’s economy for more than 150 years," Lim said. "This is our time to embrace and accept what forestry has to offer and acknowledge the vital and deeply rooted role of the forestry community in creating a prosperous, sustainable, low carbon economy for the wellbeing of all Ontarians.” 

“With today’s advanced manufacturing and innovative technologies further propelling the growth of forestry, more value is derived from every tree that is harvested. We believe that we can provide a path full of opportunities to grow the sector and build Ontario up for everyone," Lim said. "Together, we can work to make Ontario’s forest sector even stronger."

The OFIA submission outlines how Ontario harvests so little – less than 0.5 per cent - of its Crown forests, yet the benefits are so great. The sustainable use of a secure and affordable supply of renewable wood fibre, coupled with workable public policy, results in well-paying jobs and a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits.

OFIA looks forward to hearing from the following at the consultation hearing in Thunder Bay:

• Rick Ksiezopolski, Norbord Inc.
• Matt Wilkie, Weyerhaeuser
• Mayor Dennis Brown, Town of Atikokan
• Roger Barber & Georjann Morriseau, Resolute Forest Products
• Mayor Dave Canfield, City of Kenora and past President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA)

For OFIA’s Pre-budget submission please call 416-368-6188 or visit our website: www.ofia.com

Ontario’s renewable forest products sector supports over 172,000 direct and indirect jobs in 260 Ontario communities. Since 1943, the Ontario Forest Industries Association has represented forestry companies ranging from multinational corporations to family operated businesses producing advanced manufactured products and technologies. OFIA believes that by working with government to address key competitive issues, secure long-term access to affordable and accessible fibre and promote the province’s 21st century forest products sector, Ontario will be the number one jurisdiction in Canada for today’s green and growing renewable sector. To learn more about OFIA and its innovative forestry members, follow us on Twitter @OFIA_info, or visit www.ofia.com 

January 12, 2018  By Ontario Forest Industries Association

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