TORONTO — John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, issued the following statement to mark National Forest Week:

“This year, we mark the 100th Anniversary of National Forest Week, a time to celebrate Ontario’s rich forest heritage and recognize the critical role the forest sector has played in building this great province that we call home.

Our renewable forests provide social, environmental, and economic benefits to Ontarians, generating over $18 billion in revenue and supporting 147,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province.

As we saw during the COVID-19 outbreak, the forest sector and its products are not only critical to the economy but to the lives of all Ontarians. Ontario was one of the first jurisdictions to declare forestry essential, ensuring that we continue to have materials for much-needed supplies from food and medical packaging products to personal protective equipment, like surgical masks, gowns, and hygiene products.

Last month, we released Sustainable Growth: Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy, our government’s plan to help create more, good-paying jobs and encourage economic growth while ensuring the province’s forests stay healthy and productive for generations to come. Our strategy is needed now more than ever to help the forest sector through the economic recovery ahead, especially in northern and rural Ontario.

I look forward to working with the forest industry, as well as our municipal and Indigenous partners, as we continue to implement the strategy and build a bright future for Ontarians in every region of this province.”