By: The Working Forest Staff
June 20, 2019. The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) congratulates and welcomes Premier Ford’s new cabinet, following today’s announcement at Queen’s Park. Ontario’s forest sector is looking forward to continuing to work with the Ford government, including the Honourable John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and newly appointed Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), the Honourable Jeff Yurek.
Since the announcement of a Provincial Forestry Strategy at OFIA’s Forestry Advocacy Day in Queen’s Park last September, the Ford government has committed to unleashing the potential of Ontario’s forest sector. Former Minister of MNRF, Jeff Yurek, announced the beginning of consultations on a Provincial Forestry Strategy that would help the province lay out the strategy for promoting economic growth within the forest sector. Since this announcement, current Minister of MNRF, the Honourable John Yakabuski, has delivered on this commitment by hosting seven roundtable sessions across the province.
Chair of OFIA and Ontario Timberlands Manager for Weyerhaeuser in Kenora, Erik Holmstrom, commented, “On behalf of the OFIA, I would like to congratulate Minister Jeff Yurek on his new portfolio as Minister of MECP, and, thank Minister John Yakabuski for his continuous support of Ontario’s forest sector. We are looking forward to working directly with these two Ministers to deliver on the government’s commitment to attract investment and create good jobs across Northern and Rural Ontario.”
Jamie Lim, President, and CEO of OFIA concluded by saying, “It was a pleasure working with Minister Yurek during his time as Minister of MNRF, and we are thankful to have such a strong advocate for Ontario’s forest sector in Minister Yakabuski continuing at the MNRF. Ontario’s forest sector provides well-paying jobs for 150,000 people in every region of the province and generates $15.5 billion of economic activity, and we can do better. A Provincial Forestry Strategy that aims to increase access to a renewable supply of fibre while addressing policy barriers will provide benefits to every region of Ontario. We believe that by working with Minister Yakabuski, Minister Yurek, and the Ford Government, we can help make Ontario open for business.”