Today, the federal government moved to recognize that Canada’s forest products sector and its workers provide essential products and services to Canadians.
Earlier this week, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) President and CEO Derek Nighbor called on the federal government to bring clarity to this issue given the confusing patchwork of measures that are emerging from province to province, negatively impacting certainty for workers and cross-border flows of goods and raw materials.
Nighbor issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement:
“FPAC fully supports today’s directive which designates forest products and Canada’s forest sector and its workers as essential to the well-being of Canadians. Our sector’s top priority is the health and safety of our employees. I want to thank forest sector workers in our head and regional offices, at our woodlands operations, mills, factories, storage facilities, and all points in between who have stepped up under challenging circumstances to keep our supply chain moving.
I also want to acknowledge the efforts of our value chain partners – from forestry contractors to truck drivers, railroaders, further manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Without you, essential products that Canadians need from building materials, pellets and biofuels for heating systems, pulp for masks and hospital gowns, as well as toilet paper, paper towels, and sanitary wipes would simply not be available.
In the days and weeks ahead, FPAC and its members from east to west will continue to work with governments and our many partners across the country to ensure that workers are healthy and safe, and that Canadians can continue to get the products they need to get through the COVID-19 crisis”.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $73.6-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 12 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.