The Ontario government is investing $5.3 million, provided through the federal Forest Sector Safety Measures Fund, to help small and medium sized forest sector businesses offset the cost of COVID-19 safety measures. The funding will be used for initiatives such as setting up sanitizing stations, providing enhanced cleaning, additional worker training, measures to increase physical distancing, and to purchase personal protective equipment.
“Our government is committed to the ongoing economic recovery and growth of the forestry industry,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “This funding will help businesses within this crucial sector overcome the economic challenges they face, ensuring they can continue to keep their doors open, while protecting workers and the communities where they live.”
“Protecting workers in our forest sector was one of the federal government’s early commitments during the pandemic. We said we would be there for Canadians through COVID-19 and we are delivering,” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.
Both levels of government deemed the forestry industry an essential sector due to its vital role in supplying essential forest products for hygiene, medical supplies, food packaging and shipping materials.
Providing a financial investment through the Forest Sector Safety Measures Fund further supports the province’s Sustainable Growth: Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy. Ontario’s strategy will create jobs and encourage economic growth in the forestry industry, supporting the Indigenous, northern and rural communities that depend on the sector. It will also ensure the province’s forests are managed sustainably for generations to come.
For information on program eligibility and timelines, please visit ontario.ca/forestsafetyfund