Forestry a Hot Topic at FCM
Mayor Lyn Hall addresses delegates at FCM in Ottawa – photo submitted
Ottawa, Ontario,- Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall’s address to delegates at the Federation Canadian Municipalities convention in Ottawa was well received.
Speaking on the topic of “Innovative Solutions to Economic Challenges” , Prince George was one of three case studies, with the P.G. focus on wood and forest product innovation. Along with Paul Lansbergen, Vice President of the Forest Products Association of Canada, Mayor Hall says the forestry issue was of great interest. “It’s a huge topic, right across the country.”
The Prince George presentation focused on the Wood Innovation and Design Centre and the City’s Downtown energy system , projects that some were not aware of “I think some were surprised, especially when we talked about the downtown energy system and our connection to Lakeland Mills and how we’re drawing heat off Lakeland to heat those buildings. But not only that, both I and the FPAC representative talked about the Wood Innovation Design Centre and it being one of the first 6 storey wood frame buildings in the country” he says the WIDC project “gained a lot of interest around the room”.
While not planning to meet with Federal officials about the softwood agreement issue, Hall says he has spoken with Council members from other Canadian communities which are impacted by the current dispute with the U.S. “We are in close contact with COFI and in contact with FPAC, It’s clearly a topic of conversation here, with Mayors and Councils from Quebec, Alberta, B.C., across the country, wherever they have forestry as one of their mainstays.”
Mayor Hall is optimistic the federal government’s aid package rolled out yesterday, will see dollars flowing to this region “So there’s $867 million dollars announced yesterday for that package and I characterized it as an opportunity for industry to take a look at where they can utilize those various funds, and I think there is a chance for us to access that if we get to that point.”
Mayor Hall says there will be discussions with Federal reps in Ottawa about infrastructure funding, “That’s an important piece for us.”