By: The Working Forest Staff
SAINT THOMAS – The Ontario government is opening the forest industry to jobs and promoting the use of sustainable renewable resources by investing in the province’s first cross-laminated timber plant.
Today John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced an investment of almost $5 million in Element5’s new facility, which will create over 60 jobs in St. Thomas.
The $32 million manufacturing facility will help support the forestry sector’s 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario. Element5’s facility will be one of North America’s first fully automated cross-laminated timber plants. It will provide an environmentally friendly product that will be used to construct buildings and other infrastructure projects in Canada and the U.S.
“Our government is working hard to make Ontario open for business and open for jobs by creating an environment where job creators can grow, invest and thrive,” said Minister Yakabuski. “Element5’s new facility will showcase the kind of innovation we want to see more of in Ontario.”
“We’re grateful for the support of the Government of Ontario. This is a significant investment in the Ontario forestry industry, job creation, housing, innovation and technology, and the environment in the form of green building practices,” said Frank Dottori, Industry Leadership at Element5. “Through their generous support, Ontario and specifically St. Thomas are well poised to become the centre of the mass timber industry in North America.”
The government committed to increasing the use of timber in the home building industry through the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and the Housing Supply Action Plan. This includes increasing the use of Ontario timber in buildings, and for construction and renovation to reduce emissions and encouraging mass timber demonstration projects.
“I’m pleased to support Element5’s work to create cost-effective and environmentally friendly building materials from sustainable renewable resources,” says Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “This investment will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create jobs right here in Ontario and in St. Thomas, contributing to our goal of balancing a healthy environment and healthy economy.”
“Mass timber construction will be an important innovation that can help bring housing to market faster, while still meeting the high standards in the Ontario Building Code to protect public health and safety,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This is all part of our plan to give the people of Ontario more housing and more choice.”
The investment is being made through Ontario’s Forestry Growth Fund, which provides funding for forestry sector projects that improve productivity and innovation, enhance competitiveness, support new market access, and strengthen supply chains and regional economies.
“Our government’s open for business and open for jobs approach is restoring Ontario’s competitiveness as a place for businesses to invest, innovate and create jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Element5’s new facility will create opportunities for local families, new markets for the forestry sector and reinforce Ontario’s reputation for manufacturing innovation. It’s a project we are proud to support.”