THE CANADIAN COUNCIL OF FOREST MINISTERS HOLD MEETING TO DISCUSS COLLABORATION AND SUPPORT FOR THE FOREST SECTOR
Under the chairmanship of the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the Northwest Territories, the Honourable Shane Thompson, Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial forest Ministers in the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) met via teleconference on July 2 to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the forest sector across Canada, share experiences and best practices in providing support for the sector workers, and to continue charting a path to recovery. At this meeting, the Minister of Natural Resources Canada, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan took the opportunity to provide an update on federal programs available for the forest sector.
Ministers highlighted the importance of the forest sector and its essential role in Canada’s economic recovery: producing building materials, pellets and biofuels for heating systems, pulp for personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns, as well as toilet paper, paper towels, and other sanitary supplies.
"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all industries across the country, including the forest sector," Minister Thompson said. "We all need to continue to work together to help keep our forest sector, and the workers and communities that depend on it, strong and healthy through this crisis."
During the meeting, Ministers discussed measures that federal, provincial and territorial governments have implemented to support the forest sector, including fee deferrals and wage support. These measures are critical not only for businesses, but for workers and communities that rely on the sector. Ministers affirmed that the development of the bioeconomy is essential to the economic recovery from COVID-19 and the long-term resiliency of the forest sector. They further affirmed that the forest bioeconomy is major contributor to shared objectives for building an environmentally sustainable economy. Ministers also affirmed the CCFM’s ongoing priorities, including efforts to build on the sector’s competitiveness and environmental reputation, and continued collaboration on wildland fire and forest pest management, as key opportunities for the forest sector’s recovery and sustainable growth moving forward.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Ministers agreed that due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, their annual 2020 meeting would be held virtually this fall.
The CCFM was established in 1985 to provide a forum for federal, provincial and territorial governments to work collaboratively on common issues relating to forests and the forest sector. The CCFM provides leadership on domestic and international forestry issues, and sets direction to ensure Canada remains a global leader in the stewardship and sustainable management of forests.