Statement by Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay

Archived Release

Statement by Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

KELOWNA, BC, Nov. 24 - Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, issued the following statement while attending the Meeting of First Ministers and National Aboriginal Leaders in British Columbia. In April, Prime Minister Paul Martin made a commitment to help Ontario's forestry industry. I am very pleased to hear today that the federal government is fulfilling its commitment. We want to ensure that Ontario communities and companies have access to all the measures announced today. This much-needed federal aid complements the McGuinty government's $680-million forestry package. By supporting the forest sector, we will attract new investments resulting in a strong and sustainable forest sector and a strong economy. The Ontario forestry industry is facing the challenges of a competitive global market. All levels of government must work together to find long-term solutions and develop an attractive and prosperous business climate. We need to encourage both reinvestment to modernize existing facilities and further investment in new opportunities. Through the Ontario Forest Sector Prosperity Fund and the Ontario Loan Guarantee Program, and now the Forest Industry Competitiveness Strategy, Ontario companies will find the support they need to make the investments that will benefit their businesses. The importance of the forestry industry to Ontario, especially Northern Ontario, cannot be overstated. This sector employs about 90,000 Ontarians directly and is second only to automobiles in exports from the province. It has annual sales of about $18 billion, and exports of about $8 billion. Close to 30 per cent of the overall employment in the north depends on the forest sector. And, as the second largest manufacturing industry in Ontario, forestry is a major economic engine for the entire province. The Martin government should be commended for this effort on behalf of Ontarians and for working with the McGuinty government to secure a place for Ontario's forest industry to grow. Disponible en fran├žais www.mnr.gov.on.caFor further information: Media Calls Only - Anne-Marie Flanagan, Minister's Office, (416) 327-0654