Ontario Forest Industries Assn. welcomes newly formed cabinet, including Graydon Smith as Minister of Natural Resources & Forestry; trade group says province is well positioned to unleash full potential of forest industry and bioeconomy

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TORONTO , June 29, 2022 (press release) –

Ontario Well Positioned to Unleash the Full Potential of the Forest Industry and Bioeconomy

The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) congratulates returning Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and welcomes Premier Ford's newly formed cabinet. The OFIA is ready to work with the new government to rebuild the economy, reduce costs, and ensure Ontario is a globally competitive forestry jurisdiction.

For 79 years, the OFIA and its members have worked collaboratively with the government, stakeholders, and rightsholders to strengthen Ontario's forest industry. By sustainably harvesting less than 0.5% of Ontario's managed public forests annually, Ontario's forest industry supports over 148,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province and generates over $18 billion in revenues each year.

Dan Bowes, Chair of the OFIA and Ontario Woodlands Manager for Columbia Forest Products, said, "We are excited to continue working with Premier Ford and his government to attract investment and create good jobs in northern and rural Ontario. We are proud of our sector's contributions to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of our communities."

Bowes continued, "We are thrilled to welcome the Honourable Graydon Smith as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. We look forward to working together as we implement projects and new initiatives through Ontario's Forest Sector Strategy and Biomass Action Plan. On behalf of the OFIA and its members, I would like to thank Minister Rickford for his work with the forestry sector over the past year and wish him all the best in his new portfolios."

"The sustainable management of natural resources forms the backbone of Ontario's economy," said OFIA Director Malcolm Cockwell, President of Haliburton Forest, which owns 250,000 acres of private timberland and operates three hardwood sawmills in Ontario. "My colleagues and I congratulate Graydon Smith on his appointment to Minister of Natural Resources & Forestry. We look forward to working with him as we continue to grow our businesses."

President and CEO of the OFIA, Ian Dunn, stated, "Premier Ford and his government have been tremendous partners over the past four years. I look forward to working with the re-elected government and Minister Smith. I would also like to congratulate two newly elected northern MPPs – Thunder Bay-Atikokan's Kevin Holland, and the new Minister of Mines, Honourable George Pirie."

"Through the reduction of costs, enhanced forest road infrastructure, increased use of forest biomass, and the removal of trade and market barriers," continued Dunn, "Ontario will be the preferred jurisdiction for investments in the rapidly expanding forest product sector and bioeconomy."

For 79 years, the OFIA has represented forestry companies ranging from multinational corporations to family-owned businesses across Ontario. OFIA's member companies produce various renewable forest products, including dimensional lumber, pulp and paper, panel products, packaging, green energy, and engineered wood products. OFIA members invest heavily in advanced research, development, and innovative technologies.

To learn more about OFIA follow us on Twitter @OFIA_info, or visit www.ofia.com

For more information, please contact:

Lauren McBride
Operations and Membership Co-Ordinator Ontario Forest Industries Association 905-449-7922

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