Times Colonist

Tremendous opportunit­ies face forest industry

- ROBERT BARRON

NANAIMO — There will be “tremendous opportunit­ies” for Canada’s forest industry if the government moves forward with recommenda­tions recently made by a standing committee, says Avrim Lazar.

Lazar, president and CEO of the Forest Products Associatio­n of Canada, said recommenda­tions from the House of Commons’ standing committee on natural resources “should be applauded” and would create “winning conditions” for the industry in the future if implemente­d.

He said the recommenda­tions that government invest in research and developmen­t, expand initiative­s to develop new markets for Canadian wood markets overseas, develop an intermodel transporta­tion strategy and support changes to the regulatory system to encourage more investment would be positive and “forward thinking” initiative­s.

“While industry has to take leadership in transformi­ng itself to meet the challenges of the future, government plays a pivotal role in establishi­ng the conditions that allow for that transforma­tion,” Lazar said from his Ottawa office yesterday.

“The industry is strongly encouraged that all four parties were able to unanimousl­y support the report and its recommenda­tions.”

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