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

“As we celebrate National Forest Week, it’s important to recognize Ontario’s rich forest heritage and the continued economic, social and environmental benefits forests provide to the people of this province.

Today, Ontario’s forest sector supports about 155,000 jobs in communities across our province and generates over $16.6 billion in revenue. These numbers underline the fact that forests continue to play an important role in Ontario’s economy, especially in rural and northern Ontario.

Our government wants to encourage more innovation and create more jobs in this sector – jobs that secure the future of so many Ontarians. That’s why this fall we will be releasing Ontario’s new forest sector strategy – a plan that will help to unleash the potential of Ontario’s forest industry. The strategy identifies tangible steps that will create the right conditions for the industry to innovate and attract investment.

Our province is recognized around the world for its sustainable forest management practices. Our foresters and forest industry partners are dedicated to following healthy and productive forest management techniques.

Ontario will continue to support a growing and thriving forest sector while ensuring our forests are managed sustainably.”