Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial forest ministers held discussions at their annual meeting on November 30, 2021 to address ongoing challenges and opportunities for Canada’s forest sector. The meeting was hosted by Ralph Eichler, Minister of Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, current Chair of Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM).

Ministers acknowledge the serious impacts faced across affected regions during another challenging wildland fire season and expressed their appreciation for the efforts of domestic and international firefighters to protect the homes and communities of Canadians. Over the next year, the CCFM will convene concerned parties to identify areas for improving wildland fire management to increase resilience, including a focus on building our capacity in prevention and mitigation.

During the meeting, Ministers discussed the US decision to raise duties on softwood lumber and jointly expressed their disappointment noting the harm to Canadian workers and communities as well as US consumers and homebuilders. Provinces and Territories agree to engage with the federal government on a comprehensive approach to trade access issues. Ministers recognized the importance of the forest sector, its communities and workers, and identified opportunities for a strong post-COVID-19 economic recovery while highlighting the opportunity for the sector to address climate change and contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions targets across Canada. Ministers also recognized the growing importance of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) market expectations, and committed to accelerating the development of the forest bioeconomy.

“Manitoba was one of the five provinces and territories to experience a record breaking fire season in 2021”, said Eichler. “There is a real need to increase wildland fire resilience in Canada and to reduce future risk of wildfire. I am very pleased that the federal, provincial and territorial governments agreed to launch the Canada wide Dialogue on Wildland Fires to raise awareness of Canadians to the risk and support prevention and mitigation efforts.”

The Council recognized the leadership of Manitoba and Minister Eichler as the CCFM chair over the past year. New Brunswick and Minister Holland have taken on the Chair role for the next year.

“New Brunswick is proud to take on the role of Chair of the Canadian Council of Forestry Ministers for the upcoming year,” said New Brunswick’s Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “Forestry is a vital part of our economy, both in our province and across the country, and it remains incredibly important for all of us to continue working together to make sure that we use our resources in ways that are responsible and sustainable to keep the sector strong and healthy”

On November 29, 2021, prior to the Ministerial meeting, Indigenous Leaders, industry experts and other stakeholders participated in the Forum on the Forests to share their perspectives on the impacts of COVID-19 and the ongoing economic recovery in the sector.

For more information, media please contact:

Caitlin MacGregor
Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Press Secretary

Jason Hoyt
Director of Communications
New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development