The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) welcomes Premier Wynne’s 2015 Provincial Budget and its support of Ontario’s renewable natural resource – forestry, the province’s second largest industrial sector.

As a cornerstone of Ontario’s green economy, the forest products sector is doing its part to help the province achieve its fiscal and environmental objectives through sustainable resource development.

Jamie Lim, President and CEO of the OFIA commented, “We thank Premier Wynne and Minister Mauro for keeping their June 2014 commitment to the OFIA, NOMA and FONOM to restore the level of funding for critical resource access road infrastructure in northern and rural Ontario in the 2015 budget. This is great news because these resource access roads are the foundation of economic development in these regions.”

The OFIA recognizes the Ontario Government’s efforts to support the renewable forest products sector:

  • Premier Wynne’s commitment of $60 million in public resource access road funding for 2015-16 demonstrates the Government’s support for building and maintaining infrastructure in Northern and rural Ontario that benefit all Ontarians.
  • OFIA’s members were pleased that Government maintained Ontario’s hardwood base dues at 2014 levels, supporting the full utilization of Ontario’s sustainable fibre.
  • Businesses need certainty. The OFIA applauds Ontario in making the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) Program permanent for qualifying large northern industrial consumers, as long as rules currently in effect are maintained.

The members of the OFIA have announced recent investments of over $400 million in Ontario to rebuild facilities, increase capacity, employment and production and build brand new facilities. The forest sector will work to ensure that Ontario benefits from the sustainable management of its Crown forests, the greenest economic opportunity to present itself in a generation.

Lim concluded, “Ontario’s forest products sector has real opportunity to grow and the hat-trick of measures in the Provincial Budget will absolutely help.”