Canadian industries will continue to work with Ottawa in the hope of addressing cross-border trade issues and regulatory challenges that impact their competitiveness. However, industry leaders also have an opportunity to put their respective sectors on a stronger competitive-footing, according to Derek Nighbor CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada – who will be making a presentation to the Alberta Chamber of Resources Mid-Year Meeting this week in Calgary.

“The ability of industries to remain competitive is key to ensuring communities across this country – especially those in rural and northern Canada – can be economically strong and vibrant,” says Nighbor. “Industry wants certainty and the pace and layer of regulatory change and unprecedented pressure from our largest trading partner pose challenges. This makes it even more imperative for all industries, including the forest sector, to forge opportunities that will help support the bottom line and job growth.”

The forest products sector’s competitiveness agenda, as an example, includes key aspects that include innovation, expanding markets, and strengthening the decades-long partnership with Indigenous communities.

The industry currently exports approximately $36 billion annually to 180 countries. Those totals are the result of products that are of the highest quality and because of Canada’s world-renowned reputation for sustainable forest management, which provides a distinct competitive advantage.

Through innovation, the industry is re-affirming its reputation even further by creating exciting and new, bio-based products and materials from wood fiber that contribute to tackling climate change – which again, is key to meeting the demands of changing global markets and changing consumer demands.

Nighbor will address these issues under the theme of Restoring Canada’s Competitiveness during the Alberta Chamber of Resources Mid-Year Meeting along with Martha Hall Findlay of the Canada West Foundation and Hon. Perrin Beatty, President, and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce at the Alberta Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, June 21.