– by David Lindsay, President and CEO, FPAC
Autumn was certainly a busy time for all the staff at the Forest Products Association of Canada. In addition to our usual work with FPAC committees and our annual fall retreat with our Board of Directors, we hosted a number of events and participated in several significant advocacy activities on behalf of the Canadian forest industry.
We presented at two Parliamentary committees in the past month – we outlined our proposals for the federal budget to the Finance committee and attended the International Trade committee to underscore FPAC’s support for the Canada-Korea free trade deal.
We had an opinion piece published in the National Post on September 29th. FPAC staff were quoted in Globe and Mail stories on wood construction and on the Canada-Korea Free Trade Deal. I was also asked to be the keynote speaker at the Board dinner for Colleges and Institutes Canada and presented the forest industry perspective on recruiting workers and achieving social license in the resource sector at an Ontario Mining conference.
For a national based advocacy association all of these activities are routine. What is unusual is the volume of activity this fall. The time and effort that goes into the preparation for each of these activities cannot be underestimated. The fact that we have an experienced team with depth and talent allows us to be high performers on many fronts at the same time. But, these activities are table stakes for a tier one national advocacy association.
In my previous blog I talked about our successful event on Parliament Hill that highlighted innovation in the forest products industry. Another noteworthy event was the Good Jobs Summit held by the union Unifor at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
The Forest Products Association of Canada and Unifor, the largest private sector union in the country have forged a positive working relationship. Gerry Dias the President of Unifor endorsed our Vision2020 document and we participated in the Good Jobs Summit .
FPAC’s Bob Larocque, the Director of Environment and Labour Market Policies, joined me at the weekend summit. We had a booth on the floor of the arena promoting our Greenest Workforce initiative to encourage workers to consider a job in the forest products industry and I also participated as a panelist at the session focused on Green Jobs where I highlighted our sector’s strong commitment to the environment.