Friday, forest company leaders from across Alberta had a very productive meeting with Premier Notley. The meeting focused on Alberta’s trading relationship with the United States and the future vitality of Alberta’s forest sector.
“We greatly appreciate the dedication of Premier Notley and her government to this very important file,” said Paul Whittaker, President and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association. “By working closely together, we can ensure a strong future for the forest sector and the thousands of Albertans who work in it.”
Meeting participants also included Honourable Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade and Honourable Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. Topics of discussion included developing new uses for forest products in Alberta, expanding exports to Asian markets, and dealing with challenges posed by the softwood lumber dispute with the United States. As Alberta’s largest export market, trading relationships with the United States are very important. Alberta exports approximately $2 billion worth of forest products, including lumber, pulp, and paper to the American market.
Forestry is an important part of a diversified Alberta economy. In addition to 18,000 direct jobs, the sector creates an additional 36,000 jobs through its economic activity. This includes equipment and supply sales, consulting, road building and maintenance, and hospitality. Forestry also supports jobs in homebuilding, construction, transportation and logistics, and environmental sciences.
The Alberta Forest Products Association is a private, non-profit industry organization, representing lumber, panelboard, pulp and paper, and secondary manufacturing wood products companies operating in Alberta. AFPA member companies are active participants in sustainability advancements that contribute economic, environmental, and social benefits for Albertans.