OTTAWA—With calls from parliament for continued investment in the research and development of innovative technology in the forest industry, the Forest Products Association of Canada, thinks its ambitious goals for 2020 could be within reach.
A House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources report has recommended market and export diversification, the finalization of free trade agreements, and called for the government to defend and promote the sector’s environmental record.
“Canada is a world leader in forest sustainability and we want to leverage that advantage in the international marketplace”, David Lindsay, the president and CEO of FPAC said. “We are pleased that the committee recognizes the importance of informing customers about our impressive environmental credentials.”
Under FPAC’s Vision2020, a series of goals the organization is looking to accomplish over the next five years, the industry is aiming to refresh its workforce with an additional 60,000 hires, including more women, Aboriginals and new Canadians.
“Taken together, we applaud the committee for recommendations that will help our industry on its journey of transformation. The report recognizes that the forest sector can’t do it alone but needs to build on its partnerships with governments and others.” Lindsay said.
Lindsay is also pleased that the committee report noted the FPAC call for better transportation infrastructure – and especially rail.
FPAC is an advocacy group dedicated to promoting Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers. The $58-billion forest products industry represents 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP. It’s one of Canada’s largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.