Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today announced the recipients of its annual Awards of Excellence which includes Williams Lake, BC Mayor Walt Cobb as a 2020 Forest Community Champion.
FPAC presents its Awards of Excellence to recognize leadership in the sector and to honour the achievements of our workers and community partners. The Forest Community Champion award is presented to a leader who demonstrates support for the forestry sector and its contributions to Canada’s environmental, economic, and social priorities.
“Walt Cobb continues to be a tireless champion of British Columbia’s and Canada’s forestry sector”, said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “During a lifetime of service as an MLA, councillor and Mayor, he has been an ongoing and staunch advocate for the industry and workers in his community. His leadership qualities made national news during the wildfires of 2017 that forced the evacuation of his entire community. He continues to be a resource for other municipal leaders who face wildland fire risks in their communities. Walt has earned every bit of this recognition,” Nighbor added.
Walt Cobb served as a Williams Lake City Councillor from 1980 to 1990 before being elected Mayor and serving two terms between 1990 and 1996. Cobb served as MLA for Cariboo South between 2001 and 2005 before returning to municipal politics where he has again served as Mayor since 2014.
“I was surprised to be nominated and even more surprised and honoured to be a recipient of the Forest Community Champion award. As Mayor of Williams Lake, as resource-based community, forestry is our number one industry and we are dedicated to not only supporting the sector, but also the many workers it employs,” said Cobb.
Cobb added, “I would have to say that one of the highlights of my ongoing fight to bring attention to the importance of the forest industry in the Cariboo was during the 2019 UBCM Convention, where a convoy of over 400 logging trucks rallied through downtown Vancouver. I was hanging on to the side of a truck for a part of the ride downtown – we definitely showed strength in numbers and opened up more discussions about how essential forestry is to the interior. I am proud that my involvement has had a positive impact on the forestry industry in Williams Lake.”
For further details about FPAC’s Awards of Excellence recipients, including photos and videos, please visit: www.forestryforthefuture.ca
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $73.6-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 12 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.
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