QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett highlighted the importance of the forestry industry, both provincially and in the riding, during Question Period this week.  

“In the early days of COVID-19, the province identified essential workplaces that needed to remain open. Among those were the mills, the processing facilities of Ontario’s forestry industry,” Barrett said during Question Period. “While we stayed home, Ontario’s forestry industry and the men and women who work in that industry kept on working to make sure that we had the materials that we need, like personal protective equipment, for example, to keep us safe.”  

Barrett then took the opportunity to ask Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski what was being done to support the forestry industry.   

Yakabuski outlined some of the measures the government had provided, such as providing the forestry sector safety measures fund.   

Barrett asked about the economic contribution of the industry to the province.  

“I see it first-hand in southern Ontario, across my riding in Haldimand–Norfolk,” he said. “I think of Townsend Lumber, and Arnold Hanson and Sons Logging. Porter Lumber has operated for years just down the road from my farm. Companies like this contribute to our economy. They provide good-paying jobs, certainly, to people in my riding and communities right across the province.”  

Yakabuski answered that forestry is one of the “bedrock industries” of Ontario.  

“The vital role that the forestry sector plays has been especially evident during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “The industry has a huge role to play in providing essential forest products for hygiene, medical supplies, food packing and shipping materials. This sector is critical to the provincial economy, especially in Indigenous, northern and rural communities. I come from one of those communities, so I understand, absolutely, just how important it is. It generates over $18 billion in revenue and supports approximately 147,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province, from Toronto to Timmins.”  

For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or toby.barrett@pc.ola.org