An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (use of wood)


This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act to permit the Minister, in developing requirements for public works, to allow the use of wood or any other thing that achieves environmental benefits.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.


Sept. 27, 2023 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill S-222, An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (use of wood)
Feb. 15, 2023 Passed 2nd reading of Bill S-222, An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (use of wood)

October 26th, 2023 / 6:05 p.m.
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The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:

Rideau Hall

October 26, 2023

Mr. Speaker,

I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 26th day of October, 2023, at 5:18 p.m.

Yours sincerely,

Christine MacIntyre

Deputy Secretary to the Governor General

The Honourable

The Speaker of the House of Commons


The schedule indicates the bills assented to on Thursday, October 26, 2023, were Bill S-222, An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (use of wood), and Bill S-12, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the International Transfer of Offenders Act.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

September 27th, 2023 / 3:45 p.m.
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The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill S-222 under Private Members' Business.

The House resumed from September 26 consideration of the motion that Bill S-222, An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (use of wood), be read the third time and passed.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

September 26th, 2023 / 7 p.m.
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Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, I proudly rise today for the final right of reply to Bill S-222 at third reading. This bill, commonly known as the use of wood in government infrastructure bill, has a long history in this place, but I think it is safe to say after debate this afternoon and a vote tomorrow that it will finally become law in Canada.

I will try to be brief in my remarks, but I should give a little history of what is happening here today. It all started 13 years ago, in 2010, with a private member's bill put forward by the Bloc Québécois MP Gérard Asselin, as my colleagues here in the Bloc have already pointed out a couple of times this afternoon.

That bill specifically asked the minister of public works to consider the use of wood in building federal infrastructure, much as the Wood First Act had done in British Columbia the year before that and the Quebec Charte du bois did later in 2013.

My legislative assistant, Cameron Holmstrom, brought the bill to my attention in 2016 when I was looking for private members' bill ideas. I was keen on supporting the emerging mass timber sector, because the main proponent of that sector in Canada, indeed North America, was Structurlam, a company based in my hometown of Penticton, British Columbia.

I tabled that bill as Bill C-354 in 2017. It passed second reading into committee, and there it was amended to deal with some concerns about its specific focus on wood. Thanks to collegial work and some good ideas, some of them coming from Sandra Schwartz at Natural Resources Canada, the language in the bill was changed to emphasize the environmental benefits of prospective building materials.

I must say I was actually happier with the new version, which is something one does not always hear from someone who has had their private member's bill amended. It passed through the House of Commons in May 2018. Unfortunately, it languished in the Senate, an innocent bystander to some shenanigans there, and died with a lot of other private members' business when that Parliament ended just over a year later.

I want to thank once again my friend, Senator Diane Griffin, who introduced it in the other place as Bill S-222 in this Parliament in November 2021. That is what we are debating today. After passing through the Senate, it came to this chamber and is nearing the end of that journey.

I want to thank everyone who has spoken to this bill over the years and everyone who has supported it and made good suggestions about it.

I have talked to Adam Auer, an old student of mine, who is now the head of the Cement Association of Canada, about the new concrete products that will compete well under the terms of the bill.

I want to highlight also the support of the Forest Products Association of Canada, particularly Derek Nighbor, who has been a constant source of encouragement.

For decades, we built our big buildings out of concrete and steel. One of the main goals of this bill was simply to point out to the government and society as a whole that engineered wood is now a real option. Engineered wood, mass timber, will give our forest sector another domestic market to sell to, allowing us to reduce our reliance on the United States for lumber sales. Canada leads the continent in these sectors and government procurement will help us keep on track to stay in the lead.

The government has the capacity to carry out the intent of this bill. Through life-cycle analysis, it can provide fair assessments of all building materials for their carbon footprint and other environmental benefits.

This bill is a win-win-win for Canada. It would help build better infrastructure in our country, beautiful and safe buildings that would have a light footprint on our environment. It would also help us meet our climate targets and would spur innovation in the building materials sector.

This bill has enjoyed unanimous support throughout its latest journey in Parliament, and I am hoping that will continue after this debate.

Thanks once again to all who have spoken to this, to all who have contributed to it over the years.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-222, An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (use of wood), be read the third time and passed.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

September 26th, 2023 / 6:45 p.m.
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Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill S‑222, which finally appears to promote the use of forest products in public works. After all, it was about time, was it not?

The Bloc Québécois has repeatedly proposed that the oh-so-generous federal government use its procurement policy to support the forestry sector. It is such a bold idea that it could even have economic and environmental benefits. We have already tried this twice.

In 2010, we gently proposed amending the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act to encourage the use of wood products in construction. I have to say, the Conservatives at the time were not very co-operative.

We tried again in 2014. However, the Conservatives, and even some NDP members, chose to ignore the importance of the forestry sector for Quebec's regions. We sincerely hope that this third attempt will finally be the one that works. The mere fact that we are now at third reading of the bill makes us almost optimistic.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that the current bill lacks teeth, to put it politely. The minister is taking into account — those are the words being used — environmental benefits and can authorize the use of wood in public projects. The audacity. When my colleague, the member for Jonquière, tried to propose an amendment for the minister to maximise the use of wood, he received massive support from one person: himself. That is entirely representative of the importance given to the oil interests by the Canadian government compared to those of Quebec.

The numbers speak for themselves. Between 1917 and 2020, the oil sector received a tidy sum of $23 billion, while the forestry sector, for all of Canada, was given only $952 million, three-quarters of which had to be paid back. Through all that, Ottawa is still claiming to be seriously fighting climate change. How logical is that?

The forestry sector could be a tremendous boon if we gave it a chance. Every cubic metre of wood used in construction captures 900 kilograms of CO2. A house built using 20 cubic metres of wood would capture the equivalent of three years' worth of emissions from a car. Studies even suggest that by reclaiming forestry and agricultural waste, we could reduce our oil imports by 1.6 billion litres, or 20% of our annual consumption. Still, why support a green industry when we can throw more money at the oil sector, right?

It is high time for Quebec's forestry sector to get its fair share of federal investments. After all, it deserves at least as much attention as Ontario's auto industry or western Canada's oil sector. Ottawa has to wake up and implement a public procurement policy that truly encourages the use of wood products and sustainable materials. Quebec has already done it. What is Ottawa waiting for?

The Standing Committee on Natural Resources also recommended that the government establish the carbon footprint as a criterion for awarding contracts. That idea was also part of the Bloc Québécois's green recovery plan. We are happy to see that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources finally recognized the importance of such a policy. However, once again, it took a while for Ottawa to wake up and smell the coffee. Politics are all well and good, but real action is better, is it not?

Such a policy makes sense not just environmentally but also economically. A study published in 2021 on the maximization of the economic and environmental benefits of our beloved forestry sector showed that the optimal management of our precious forests could lead to the creation of over 16,000 jobs in Quebec in the next decade, which would represent an increase of 27%. All of that while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 7.7 million tonnes a year, which is equivalent to 20% to 30% of Quebec's environmental targets. Is this just a dream?

The forest is our hidden treasure, our green gold mine. The government must therefore do its part to develop our forests' full potential by encouraging the use of wood in construction, supporting local processing and investing in environmentally friendly technological innovations. Yes, the future lies in the responsible, sustainable and sound development of our natural resources.

I now urgently call upon the Liberals to develop a comprehensive strategy. If they feel at a bit of a loss, then I invite them to take a look at the Bloc Québécois's road map from 2021. It had unanimous support in Quebec because it was created in collaboration with all the forestry sector stakeholders. It also has the support of every forestry workers' union, including the Confédération des syndicats nationaux, the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec and Unifor. What is more, it brought together 24 elected representatives from all nine of Quebec's forestry regions.

In addition to a public procurement policy that encourages the use of wood products, we recommend increasing budgets for basic research and developing a value chain for secondary and tertiary processing of our precious forest resources in order to foster the creation of an industrial bioeconomy cluster in Canada.

As the international trade critic, I also urge Ottawa to do everything in its power to obtain a full exemption from all tariffs on softwood lumber exports from our American friends. We also have to actively encourage diversification of export markets for our forestry products. We need a long-term vision.

In closing, I want to say that I strongly believe, as do my Bloc Québécois colleagues here, that Quebec should have exclusive jurisdiction over all of the natural resources on its territory, including its waters, fish, forests, mines and agriculture. I am convinced that the Quebec state is in the best position to fully develop the potential of our forests, a green industry that contributes to our identity.

While we wait for that glorious day to come, it is incumbent upon Ottawa to seriously consider this issue. The federal government can count on the Bloc Québécois to support any environmentally friendly development measure that shows vision and economic patriotism.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

September 26th, 2023 / 6:30 p.m.
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Blake Desjarlais NDP Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased today to rise to speak to Bill S-222. I want to thank my hon. colleague from South Okanagan—West Kootenay for his tremendous work, for being a champion not only for our planet but also for workers and for all Canadians.

It takes a special kind of person to present such a bill as this one, which would seek to enhance Canada's ability to combat the climate crisis. It is no secret that the use of a private member's bill is oftentimes under constraint in this place in terms of being unable to spend. People often find that these bills go unrecognized. However, they are important; although there is no expenditure to this, there truly are savings. The savings that would come from this would be in our children's future. We would be limiting, by way of the passage of this bill, the amount of direct embodied carbon that would otherwise be found in non-wood-use buildings.

To put this in perspective, Canada's built environment is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases across the globe. It accounted for approximately 25% of greenhouse gases coming from construction, use and maintenance of residential, commercial and institutional buildings. This is, of course, by way of non-wood products. Therefore, the use of wood in the construction of any building in Canada that would otherwise use things like concrete or steel would, in fact, result in a lower embodied carbon. This would mean that we would reduce the amount of carbon emissions by way of the passage of this bill.

It is also important to recognize that Canadians, whether in the generations before us or the generations to come, will be utilizing wood. I come from the province of Alberta. Half of our province is the northern boreal forest. This, of course, is a tremendous resource, not just for the many generations of indigenous people who have utilized these territories for the production of their own homes, industries and jobs, but also for many other Albertans. Approximately 17,500 Albertans are directly employed in this industry, and over 23,900 people are in supporting occupations. The revenues exceed $7.6 billion.

This is truly a renewable industry, as long as we properly manage it. Part of the proper management is making sure that the outcome production of wood goes toward greenhouse gas reduction. This is the actual textile used with the product of the harvesting of this lumber. These are things that are possible in our country.

I spoke to a constituent just last weekend, and she mentioned that, with the rising cost of natural gas, she is hoping for her business and even her home to get green. She was suggesting that even more work be done to make sure that homeowners could truly utilize advanced products, usually by the wood industry, to ensure that her own footprint was reduced. Canadians at home are taking climate change seriously; the government must follow suit.

There is no question that we are in a climate crisis. We must do everything we can to ensure we get this under control. Although the solutions that are present from the current government are not ambitious, it is incumbent upon the government to adopt a policy such as this one, which would actually move the mark in some ways. Any and all efforts are to be called for.

In budget 2017, the government provided Natural Resources Canada with $39.8 million over four years, starting in fiscal year 2018-19, to support projects and activities that increased the use of wood as a greener substitute material in infrastructure projects. Bringing this forward is our way to call on the government to continue to support this activity through government procurement.

Government procurement plays a massive role in terms of how demand, production and supply are maintained across many industries. No different is the forestry industry from this sector. The government has a huge amount of stock when it comes to buildings and supply right across this country. Whenever it is maintaining or building new units and new projects that are on federal lands or federally managed, it would be appropriate to utilize low-embodied carbon products made from Canadian-supplied wood.

In the tradition of many indigenous folks, we utilize wood because it is a renewable resource; it returns to the land, just as it came from the land. This is the principle of being renewable; it is also a principle of reciprocity. When we are practising reciprocity not only in our daily lives but also in terms of how we build our country, we will truly get paid dividends for our children.

Should we look after our environment now, it will look after our children. This is a promise and a compact that we have with our environment and with our environmental stewards, those who do this work for a living.

When it comes to making sure that we have energy efficiency within buildings, there ought to be further regulations to ensure that more can be done so we see a continued reduction in greenhouse gases. This would be by way of other processes, other amendments and procurement of the government's resources and material. This is one concrete step that the member has put forward that would truly do this by ensuring that we have a reciprocity approach to how we treat natural resources in the country, so we are not robbing mother earth blind of all of its resources but making sure it is more sustainable. That is truly the desired outcome for New Democrats.

When it comes to ensuring that we have, for example, proper forest management and proper resource management, this also plays to the tremendous value of those in the industry who are currently participating as we see an increase in natural disasters. Natural disasters are a common feature today in Canada, by way of the climate crisis. We saw it this summer. We have seen escalating and extreme wild events, particularly wildfires and floods. My province, of course, was surrounded by wildfires from the north, the Northwest Territories. Yellowknife's evacuation been the largest evacuation in Canadian history. Edmontonians and other Albertans took many folks in, given this huge crisis. Of course, west of us, in the riding of the member who presented this bill, we have seen massive forest fires.

We must take the climate crisis seriously. We must ensure that our children and the next generation see that we are serious about making sure we lower our greenhouse emissions. Part of the solution is using wood. This is something that we can do today. This is something that the government should be investing even more into. When we are presented with a choice between producing, for example, units like homes or even commercial buildings on behalf of the government, they truly should be reviewed with the outcome of producing a net-zero building. This is an important piece to our future. The climate crisis is so serious, in fact, that if we do not make these investments, if we do not make these changes, we will pay huge amounts for lifetimes to come.

We have one opportunity, one chance, to take as seriously as we can the crisis that is at Canadians' doorstep. That is the climate crisis. We need to do everything we can. This is one piece to getting it done. We can, in fact, do the work to support good-paying, strong, union jobs like those found in the forestry industry while also bringing down our greenhouse gases. This is a promise that I think many folks right across our country expect: the marriage between industry and making sure we have good outcomes for Canadians like reduced prices and ensuring that we can combat the climate crisis. The Conservatives would like to pit these two things against each other. They would like to see workers and environmental policy at odds with each other.

New Democrats know that when these industries unite, when we have workers and industry come together toward a solution to something as big as the climate crisis, we can get achievement. We can do something for our children. We can do something to try to end this crisis. People are watching us. They expect this from their government. They expect this from their elected leaders. They expect us to act, and that is exactly what this bill would do.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

September 26th, 2023 / 6:20 p.m.
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Caroline Desbiens Bloc Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is obviously in favour of Bill S‑222. In fact, I feel like saying “finally”, even though the bill may not go far enough.

The Bloc Québécois has long been committed to promoting the forestry sector and the ecological value of forestry products. We have long proposed that the federal government use its procurement policy to support the forestry sector. Since memories tend to fade, I will take the liberty of sharing the history of our commitment to this issue.

In March 2010, during the 3rd session of the 40th Parliament, elected representatives in the House debated a bill proposed by the Bloc Québécois, Bill C‑429, which was sponsored by Manicouagan MP Gérard Asselin. The text of this bill was very similar to that of Bill S‑222, which is the subject of the current debate. At that time, the Bloc Québécois was already proposing to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act to encourage construction projects involving greater use of wood products.

Unfortunately, neither the then-Conservative government nor the NDP official opposition supported the Bloc's solution, which was something the industry had asked for. In February of 2014, during the 2nd session of the 41st Parliament, we proposed the same solution again with Bill C‑574 from the member for Jonquière—Alma, Claude Patry. Again, the Conservatives voted against our bill, along with a good number of New Democrats.

In September 2020, the Bloc Québécois presented its green recovery plan focused on Quebec's regions, the result of extensive consultations held across the province. It offered concrete solutions to fight against COVID‑19 and to get the economy going again, including through investments in sustainable forests.

In October 2020, thanks to the initiative of my colleague from Jonquière, the natural resources critic for the Bloc Québécois, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources undertook a study on the forestry sector. The committee recommended that the government renew its support for the sector and develop a value chain for that industry by creating new market opportunities. It also recommended that the government create a public procurement policy to encourage buying and using low-carbon products, including wood products, by including carbon footprint as one of the criteria for the awarding of contracts.

That is a good idea. It seems timely to me because with climate change and the natural disasters that are on the rise and intensifying, I cannot believe that anyone still doubts the need to act with rigour and vigour. Incidentally, in parallel to Bill S‑222, which specifically focuses on the use of wood in construction, we should also consider the government's broader green procurement policy.

Let us come back to the genesis of this. In April 2021, the Bloc Québécois organized in Trois‑Rivières a forum on forests and climate change.

This event allowed partners from the college and university research community, people from industry, community and politics to discuss a key issue to Quebec's socio-economic development, the forest bioeconomy.

During the 2021 campaign, the Bloc Québécois proposed a plan to maximize the potential of Quebec's forests whose goal was local transformation, technological innovations development and increased productivity in a labour shortage context. The Bloc Québécois's plan also sought to reduce Quebec's vulnerability to trade agreements. We have certainly had a taste of that. It also seeks to alleviate pressure on primary resources by increasing job diversity, including through transformation. It also focuses on developing exportable green technologies. That is the constructive and positive work of the Bloc Québécois.

We have been asking for years for Quebec's forestry sector to get its rightful share of federal investments. People are not fooled. Everybody knows that, historically, the federal government has prioritized the auto sector in Ontario and the oil and gas industry in western Canada over Quebec's wood. Federal support should, among other things, be subject to a public procurement policy that encourages the use of wood products. The use of wood products in the construction sector is on the rise, and its contribution to the fight against climate change is well established and recognized. To choose wood as a building material is to choose a product that is locally sourced, sustainable and renewable. A life-cycle analysis of wood shows that it has a very good environmental performance.

Continuing its historic commitment, the Bloc Québécois has made a concrete contribution in recent years by presenting the federal government with detailed proposed actions that would support the forestry sector.

The Bloc Québécois idea is simple: The more a company pollutes, the less public money it receives and, the less a company pollutes, the more government support it receives. The Bloc Québécois is out there in the trenches, so it is always up to date on the major issues and the direction Quebec industry wants to move in. Everyone welcomes this option with open arms.

Incidentally, in its green recovery plan, the Bloc Québécois proposed establishing the carbon footprint variable as a criterion for awarding contracts and purchasing in government procurement policies. In short, with figures to back it up, Quebec is counting on the forestry sector to support regional economies and contribute to the fight against climate change. For years, the Bloc Québécois has been demanding that the federal government give Quebeckers their fair share of public assistance.

It is important to note that Quebec is definitely not lagging behind other provinces in that regard. On the contrary, it is a pioneer of best practices in the use of wood products. Quebec's policy of using wood as a building material is built upon five forward-looking principles: promoting Quebec's economic development, contributing to the fight against climate change, ensuring the safety and well-being of occupants, focusing on learning, and promoting the multiple uses of wood.

Unfortunately, the interests of the Canadian oil state all too often take precedence over those of the Quebec forest state. Here are a few numbers. From 2017 to 2020, tens of billions of dollars were given to the country's most polluting sector. Over the same period, the entire forestry sector in Canada received only $952 million, nearly 75% of which are repayable contributions. Quebec's share, assuming that it gets 22.5% of that amount, is a paltry $71 million per year. Let me remind the House that forestry is the economic sector that is best positioned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and capture carbon already in the atmosphere. It also has a lot of potential in terms of jobs, economic growth and innovation.

It is high time we pull our heads out of the sand and start to urgently address the state of the planet. This partisan foot-dragging on both sides of the House has, over the years, contributed to disadvantaging Quebec's forestry industry, as well as the industry's direct and indirect economic players. Waiting in vain for Canada to understand what works in Quebec is costly, both in terms of the economy and the environment. Clearly, the energy transition, forestry, fisheries, aerospace, agriculture, tourism and culture are all working, but we are not moving as fast as we should. Canada is not keeping up. Canada is a pro-oil state and that is becoming less and less acceptable to Quebeckers. It will be wonderful to regain our self-determination so we can choose the cutting-edge supports for and direction of Quebec's industries to ensure that they are sustainably developed.

We must immediately make every effort to tackle climate change since we are already behind. For some, this will start with acknowledging it. Others, who are more forward looking and have already started, need our support. It is our duty to act and support our forestry industries for our children and our future.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

September 26th, 2023 / 6:10 p.m.
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Leah Taylor Roy Liberal Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in the House to speak on the bill, which is a small but important bill when it comes to greening our economy and fighting climate change. As always, I am very privileged to rise as the member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill.

Today I am going to be addressing Bill S-222 and how the use of a sustainable and renewable material such as wood can help build a greener and healthier economy for all.

Before I begin, I would like to thank the retired senator Diane Griffin for sponsoring this small but important bill, as well as Senator Jim Quinn, who saw it through its passage in the other place in this Parliament.

The effects of climate change are all too apparent, with warmer winters, heavier snowfalls, floods, storm surges and extreme weather happening around the world. Just this year in Canada we have seen record wildfires and other climate events. We do not have to look far to see the effects of climate change. They are growing in frequency and intensity with every passing year, which is why it is absolutely critical that we all step up our work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

That is why our government introduced the 2030 emissions reduction plan, our path to meet our target under the Paris agreement to get to net-zero emissions by 2050. The plan maps out how we will reduce our emissions from 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, consistent with the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Just last week, at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Canada's commitment to fighting climate change while also building a Canadian economy that works for everyone. Indeed, the need for action on climate change has never been greater. There is always more we can do, and more we should do, every day on every front, and that includes in every facet of the Government of Canada's operations. That is where Bill S-222 comes in.

By putting a preference on the use of building materials that have environmental benefits, Bill S-222 encourages the use of wood when planning construction projects for federal buildings and infrastructure. Most of these types of projects fall under the responsibility of Public Services and Procurement Canada.

The department oversees the procurement of some $25 billion of goods and services annually. It also serves as the government's designated custodian of facilities, overseeing one of the largest and most diverse real estate portfolios in Canada. Under the greening government strategy, we have a plan to transition to net-zero carbon and climate-resilient government operations, positioning Canada as a global leader in green government. Public Services and Procurement Canada is especially well positioned to help the government fulfill this commitment.

I know the department is placing a strong focus on delivering sustainable infrastructure and retooling procurement processes to support environmental and climate priorities. With Bill S-222 and its focus on the greater use of materials with environmental benefits, such as wood, we have yet another tool to encourage a greener government.

Wood is a renewable resource that is abundantly available in most areas of this country. The many benefits of wood in construction have been clear for centuries. Newer wood products, such as mass timber, can meet the needs and demands of our dynamic world. It is also natural, renewable and sustainable. Not only does it contribute to carbon dioxide reductions, but it is a vital source of prosperity for people and communities across the country.

The forestry industry employs Canadians in nearly every province and territory and provides economic benefits in many rural, remote and indigenous communities. If mass timber products were used more extensively in construction, as proposed in the bill, those benefits would be multiplied. Indeed, we have heard during second reading of S-222 that the bill could help Canada's forestry sector produce more jobs and create more wealth within rural communities.

Simply put, increasing the government procurement of mass timber products would increase the domestic markets for our lumber. To be clear, the bill and a rejuvenated domestic market for lumber would not necessarily mean increased forest harvest, but it would absolutely mean getting more value added out of the trees we do cut.

Canada is already a leader in the engineered wood sector, and this bill would help Canadian companies scale up to maintain and grow our position. It means the creation of more jobs right here at home. It is good news for Canada's forest industry.

However, I do not want us to lose sight of how Bill S-222 would help us continue to fight against climate change. During the study of the bill, we heard specifically about how forest products could help decarbonize construction. Of course we know that long-lasting wood products store carbon that was taken out of the atmosphere as trees were growing, and we heard important information about how new trees that replace those that are harvested continue to store carbon throughout their lives.

At the end of the day, products such as mass timber have a lighter carbon footprint than other construction materials. If used more extensively in construction in Canada, it is estimated that it could mean removing more than half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year by 2030, which is equal to taking 125,000 gas-powered cars off the road. Right now, only 5% of large buildings use wood as a primary component.

That means we have a huge potential for growth here in the use of these products, which translates into massive potential to help decarbonize Canadian construction across the board. Bill S-222 can help us do just that.

I truly hope that we could all agree that the need for action on climate change has never been more urgent. We must continue to take every action we can, and we must take it further and faster. By making government operations greener, Canada could reach its sustainability goals. We know that one way to do this is to make better use of sustainable and renewable products, such as wood for construction and renovating federal buildings and infrastructure.

That is why our government is supporting this small but mighty bill, and I encourage my colleagues in the House to do the same. Similar bills have had backing of the House in the past, and we were happy to see such resounding support for Bill S-222 at second reading. I hope to see the same support for it this time around.

The House resumed from May 29 consideration of the motion that Bill S-222, An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (use of wood), be read the third time and passed.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

May 29th, 2023 / 11:35 a.m.
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Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am so used to dealing with questions that I forgot that it was time for my speech. Thank you for the opportunity to give my speech.

However, I think what I just said is still relevant to any speech. Maybe my colleague could answer that question at another time.

Anyway, we are discussing Bill S‑222. The “S” means that the bill originated in the Senate. Unelected representatives are making a contribution to the debate by introducing the bill that is before us. Quebec got rid of its version of the Senate. Eventually, at the federal level, some thought will need to be given to what to do with the Senate, with this group of people who do not represent the population, but who are simply appointed by the sitting Prime Minister. The very concept is hard to explain.

Let me get back to Bill S‑222, which seeks to ensure that the government considers the benefits of wood in developing its requirements before launching calls for tender. That is not a bad thing. It is actually a good thing, because it means that there is a willingness to do more for wood construction. We cannot be against that. That is why the Bloc Québécois intends to support Bill S‑222.

However, we think that this bill lacks ambition. It could have gone further. It could have pushed harder. That said, that may be just what Bill S‑222 and its sponsor intended, namely to do something that is not overly ambitious and that does not go too far so that it can get the approval of the government, which itself does not have much ambition for wood or the forest industry in Quebec. Maybe the sponsor thought that a bill that does not go too far would stand a better chance of being supported by the Liberals.

That is too bad, because we in the Bloc Québécois have raised this issue in the past. In 2010, Bill C‑249 was tabled by Gérard Asselin, the former member for Manicouagan, a heavily forested riding. He was keenly aware of the reality and needs of the forest industry and the need to look to the future on this issue. In 2014, the Bloc Québécois tried again with Bill C‑574, tabled by Claude Patry, the former member for Jonquière—Alma. He had initially been elected as an NDP member, but he came to realize that that party did not represent Quebec, so he decided to join the Bloc Québécois. I should note that Jonquière—Alma is also a heavily forested region.

Those two MPs understood Quebec, its needs and the importance of pushing harder for wood construction. The big difference between Bill S‑222 and the Bloc Québécois bills is the use of different terms to promote wood construction. The Bloc bills speak of “giv[ing] preference to” the use of wood, whereas Bill S‑222 speaks of “consider[ing]” wood's comparative advantages. Of course, “considering” is fine, but “giving preference to” is just that much stronger.

That is what we would have liked to see in this bill, and we will be pushing for it if the bill returns to the House for third reading. We are very hopeful that this bill will get unanimous support in the House. There is hope that will happen. I have yet to hear from all my colleagues on that point, but it would be an encouraging sign for Quebec's forestry industry, which, unfortunately, does not receive sufficient support from the federal government.

It seems like the federal government in Ottawa only has eyes for oil. Whenever oil comes up, dollar signs are not far away. The oil industry gets cheques and subsidies to the tune of billions of dollars. However, when it comes to the forestry industry, it is a whole other story. The government finds it really tough to provide the support that Quebec's forestry industry needs. Often, it gives our forestry industry peanuts, while sending hundreds of millions of dollars across the country, with a bit going to British Columbia and a bit going to eastern Canada.

One year, I thought I was hallucinating, because I read that it was offering financial assistance to deal with spruce budworm. I thought it was great that the government was announcing financial assistance for that in its budget, but then I realized it was only for eastern Canada and British Columbia. There was not a cent for Quebec. It was as if there were no forests in Quebec, as if Quebec's forestry industry did not exist.

That basically shows us what this government's priority is, that is, everything but Quebec. That about sums it up. Quebec is more advanced than Canada when it comes to wood. Of course, we welcome and support Canadian initiatives like this bill, but Quebec already has its own policy for incorporating wood into construction. It is a useful policy that perhaps the Canadian government should learn from. The aim of the policy is to ensure that wood is systematically incorporated into all new buildings whenever possible.

Why should wood be used in construction? I think that it is an essential element, a crucial element. In fact, the Quebec Construction Code was actually amended in 2010 and 2015 to allow the construction of six-storey wooden buildings. Today, the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, Quebec's building authority, even allows for buildings with up to 12 floors under certain conditions. A specific application must be submitted, and it must demonstrate that this would be feasible and that it would be done safely. In short, builders can construct wooden buildings up to 12 stories tall. That is significant.

What we know is that about 80% of all commercial, industrial and institutional buildings could be built of wood. Almost everything could be built of wood. We know that residential wood construction is already quite strong. In that respect, not much promotion is needed even though, at times, construction that could be done in wood is not.

For Quebec, forests are more than trees. They are much more than that. In fact, they are part of our identity, part of who we are. They are part of our territory, of our history. They are part of the collective imagination in Quebec.

For hundreds of years, as we know, the fabled settlers were farmers in the summer and lumberjacks in the winter. In our collective imagination, the forest is inseparable from Quebec's identity. In a way, it goes much further than the famous two-by-four. Two-by-fours are interesting because they symbolize construction itself, but much more can be done. In the past, there was the craze surrounding newsprint, which was the main wood product for a long time. Today, that needs to be rethought and other stronger and more relevant products need to be found going forward.

The forest in Quebec is our past and our present, but it is also our future. Unfortunately, it is being neglected. I repeat: it is being neglected by the Canadian government, the federal government, for whom it is not a priority. Its priority is oil, and that shows in the investments.

Obviously, in Quebec, we are proud of our forests and we would like to be able to promote them more. Today, there is more and more talk about buying local and short distribution channels, for example. That is precisely it. Wood is taken from Quebec and is used in construction in Quebec. Is that not incredible? Jobs are created in the regions of Quebec with that wood. Is that not incredible? That is all our regions are asking for: the ability to develop our forests.

Unlike oil, wood is a renewable resource. The use of wood is environmentally friendly. When construction uses steel or concrete, for example, what happens? Greenhouse gases are emitted. When construction uses wood, the carbon is captured. The opposite happens. In fact, it is much better. It is magical in a way.

It is far more magical than those facilities receiving millions, not to say billions, of dollars in subsidies from the federal government for carbon capture and sequestration. We do not know whether it has been scientifically proven or whether anything will come of it. We know that there is one thing that works: timber construction. Why not take that direction? One cubic metre of wood captures one tonne of CO2, which is a pretty big amount.

While Canada is pumping billions of dollars into oil, I encourage everyone to support our timber industry for a strong Quebec, a green Quebec, a Quebec that is proud of its forests, that does not neglect them, that takes care of them and that takes care of the planet.

I hope that the House will pass Bill S-222. The government has been taking a hands-off approach, in particular by allowing Resolute Forest Products to be bought out by Chinese interests. It needs to adopt a policy that will allow us to take care of our forests and promote our products, and it needs to invest the money needed to make that work.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

May 29th, 2023 / 11:35 a.m.
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Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his passionate speech concerning Bill S‑222.

It was interesting to see some enthusiasm, which is exactly what we want to see when it comes to wood construction. Unfortunately, we see nothing of the kind, especially from the government over there. I would even add that previous governments were no different, because I never saw past Conservative governments being any more proactive or enthusiastic about wood construction either.

Perhaps my colleague could convince me otherwise. I would like to give him the opportunity to speak to what past Conservative governments have done to promote the use of wood in construction.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

May 29th, 2023 / 11:30 a.m.
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Richard Bragdon Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I, too, want to reflect the sentiments you just expressed to our friends and neighbours in Nova Scotia and throughout the country who are continuing to battle forest fires. I thank our first responders and firefighters and their families for their huge sacrifice in making this recovery possible, getting these fires under control and protecting the good people of our region.

I rise today to speak to Bill S-222, which is regarding the use of wood, the increase in the use of wood and the effective use of wood in achieving our country's objectives. Any time we have the opportunity to discuss expanding the use of Canada's natural resources and Canada's forestry, I am passionate about it, because I think it is so important.

This is somewhat personal to me, because the region I represent has a lot of forestry-based industries. In fact, my dad worked for over 50 years in a pulp and paper mill in Nackawic, the little community I grew up in. In 1991, Nackawic was named Canada's forest capital. In fact, it may have been recognized as the forest capital of the world. It is the home of the world's largest axe, which is still there today, not far from where my office is located.

Any time forestry issues come up, I am going to be listening quite intently. My family and my upbringing were very positively affected because of the forest industry and the good-paying jobs it afforded those who worked in that industry. As well, my father-in-law was a private woodlot owner and worked in the woods, cutting wood, for years. That was not far from me, actually, in the neighbouring district of N.B. Southwest. Forestry is very related to my family personally, so any time we can talk about the increased use of Canadian goods, Canadian natural resources and Canadian forest products, I get excited about that.

The bill before us would provide an opportunity for the increased utilization of a renewable resource, which is our forest. Canada is blessed with an abundant supply of incredible forests across our vast country, and with that abundance, I think we obviously need to utilize it to benefit our people in a way that is responsible and will be sustainable for generations of forestry workers to come.

The reforestation practices that are being developed by both private sector and others is incredible. I have toured some of the tree nurseries in my region and the province, and the innovation, technology and incredible developments that are happening related to tree planting, reforestation and our tree nurseries are unbelievable. In Juniper, there is a large tree nursery operation, and there are others throughout the province.

Every time we can put another tree in the ground, we are doing the planet a huge favour. I think it is important that we continue to invest in proper reforestation, so that there will be an industry in the future that is very much sustainable. Those who are in that sector recognize the importance of that, as well as of responsibly harvesting and replanting.

With that in mind, I think we need to do everything we can as Canadians and as a government to promote Canadian natural resources, including our forest and wood products. We have some of the best wood products in the world, if not the best. I may be a bit partial, but I think they are the best; they are amazing, resilient wood products. Our craftsmen and those who work in the sector produce incredible goods with them.

It is amazing what has happened within the forestry sector as well. It has innovated, developed and transitioned. The mill in my hometown used to be a producer of newsprint, and then it went into magazine print. Of course, it was into Kodak finishing print, back when they used to print pictures off, which seems like a long time ago, and the mill used to make the high-quality type of finished paper. However, it had to go through an entire innovation, and now that same mill is producing wood-fibre product that is being turned into clothing. It is really remarkable, the innovation that has gone on to be able to be a sustainable industry and continue to provide good jobs throughout our region, let alone all the spinoffs that come from the forestry workers.

However, there are some areas that definitely need to continue to be addressed within forestry-related products. We have an ongoing softwood lumber tax issue that needs to be a priority for this government of the utmost importance. It directly affects mills in my region, which are being put at a definite competitive disadvantage. We need this to move up the chain of priorities, so that whether they are on the west coast, in British Columbia, or the east coast, in New Brunswick and throughout the Maritimes, these mills, their products and this industry are being stood up for. I believe this bill is one step toward doing that, to make sure we get more Canadian wood products into increasing numbers of markets and better utilization of those wood products even within our own country. That will be a good development.

What we also must ensure is that internationally we are doing everything we can to stand up for our natural resource sector in this country. That includes forests, but it also includes our oil and gas. It includes our other energy. It includes smelting and aluminum. It includes it all. Canada has great resources, and we need to make sure that the resource sector is stood up for, not apologized for and not talked down.

We have a great news story to tell when it comes to Canada's natural resources. It is time that all of us, as representatives of this country, stood up for our own resource sector, which has provided unbelievably good jobs for millions of Canadians from coast to coast. I am hoping that this bill, Bill S-222, will help lead to that by talking about increasing the utilization of wood products.

I think that in our good pursuits, if we do things more environmentally responsibly and sustainably, that is all good, but we can do that while continuing to develop our natural resources. Canada has the best-regulated sectors in the world relating to forestry, natural resource development, mining and energy extraction. That is nothing to apologize for, nothing to run from, but something to trumpet and something to talk about loudly and clearly and be enthused about.

When a sector is hurting, governments need to step up to the plate and say that they are standing and they have our backs because they know Canadians are relying on these sectors for their livelihoods and their employment.

I encourage the government to not only implement this bill and get it in place but expand the emphasis on Canadian natural resources, including our forestry sector, our oil and gas sectors and our mining sectors. That means every type of natural resource development. One thing is for sure: In a time of global economic insecurity and instability, the time for increased Canadian self-reliance is now. The time for increased Canadian natural resources and energy on the global markets is now. The time the world is looking for more Canadian food and natural resource products is now. This is not the time to retreat, back away and apologize. This is a time to step up and say we are here to make a difference. Canada can fill the void and the vacuum in the world with the best-produced products in the world.

I am thankful to all those who work in the forestry sector, including my dad, who retired after 50 years of carrying a bucket to a mill. I thank them for doing what they are doing in the forestry sector. I thank them for the innovation that is happening in that sector. Together, we can do some great things for Canada by developing our natural resources.

Thanks for bringing forward this bill. We look forward to doing whatever we can to see it get through.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

May 29th, 2023 / 11:15 a.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba


Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is not the first time I have had the opportunity to express some thoughts in regard to Bill S-222. In fact, it is an issue that has been debated for quite a while here in Ottawa. What surprises me, at least in part, is the fact that we have not ultimately seen its passage. As the member has referenced, this bill has been other bills in the past, and there does seem to be a fairly wide base of support for what the bill is actually talking about.

I think we constantly underestimate the true value of our wood products here in Canada, which can be broken down into different areas. The area that seems to get a great deal of attention is softwood, the trading that takes place between Canada and the United States, and how the wood barons from the States want to upset the apple cart, believing that, by doing so, their own specific industry will benefit. However, that has proven not to be the case, and it is a thorn in the side that has caused a great deal of hardship here in Canada and, I would suggest, also in the United States. I appreciated the question posed to the member in regard to it, because dealing with wood tariffs and the trade-related issues and the impact they have on the industry here is an ongoing issue in terms of production and harvesting of wood, as well as impacts on the consumer in the United States who wants to be able to have Canadian wood to use in building homes and so forth. I just want to start off by recognizing the fact that this is still there and continues to be a thorn. As the Minister of Finance and the Minister of International Trade will tell us, what is important in dealing with that issue is that we make sure we get the right deal, a fair deal for Canada, and that we do what we can as a government to minimize the cost. There is significant cost related to companies and job losses and so forth in Canada when these types of trade issues surface, and it is indeed unfortunate.

When we think of timber buildings or timber, most people would be quite surprised not only to find the degree to which wood is better for the economy in many different ways, and for our environment, but also that it is something we can use in the construction of large buildings. In the late 1980s, I remember going downstairs in a house I had purchased and finding out it had a wood foundation. That was quite a surprise for me. I had always thought the foundation would be made of concrete. Then, after investigating the matter, I found that, in the late 1980s, people were talking about the insulating factor and the structure of the wood being more than adequate in terms of longevity and the life of the home. Ever since, I have been very much open to the idea of how we could better utilize wood.

The member spoke of it from an industry point of view, and there is no doubt that Canada is very well positioned in this industry. I am not sure we rank number one, but we would definitely be in the top three, possibly second. I think it is between Canada and the United States. However, wood harvesting is a strong, healthy industry, and there are multiple players, both advocating and ensuring that we have an ongoing stock of trees into the future. That is something critically important.

When we look at timber buildings now, my understanding is that, more and more, we are starting to see them built higher than 10 floors. The record is probably somewhere between 14 and 20 floors; I do not know offhand. However, I know that, in speaking to the legislation in the past, I have made reference to a couple of the buildings. If one had the opportunity to take a look at the construction and see some of these towers of timber, they would be quite impressed by their strength and the tonnage that can be held by the construction of these buildings. They are becoming more and more popular. I think that, in the last decade or so, we have seen a growth in that industry that is fairly impressive. In fact, I was looking at one story that made a comment in regard to how, in the city of Toronto, a number of the skyscrapers, condominiums and so forth, are being made of timber. That is why I really believe this would expand opportunities.

Over the weekend, Winnipeg hosted the 2023 Skills Canada National Competition. Skills Canada does a fantastic job of bringing young people who have skills and are working in the trades to the city of Winnipeg, where there were literally thousands of students who attended in the convention centre. They got a sense of the degree to which those skills are there and are very real, producing jobs into the future. One would need to look only at the carpentry area and some of the construction being done with that component. I think there were somewhere in the neighbourhood of 45 different skill sets. Many of them are related to wood products and construction. Organizations directly and indirectly benefit from the development of that particular industry.

This morning, my colleague made reference to forest fires in her area, and there are forest fires virtually throughout the country. We all need to be concerned about that. It raises the environmental issues. It is an issue of stewardship and making sure that, as much as possible, we are minimizing the negative impacts on our environment and expanding where we can in industries that make us that much healthier as a nation.

I would suggest that, through the passage of the bill, we would see the promotion of timber and wood in construction areas, with the federal government playing a role; it could contribute to ensuring that the industry continues to grow, and that is one of the reasons I had posed the question to the member opposite in regard to public awareness. I really and truly do not believe that the public as a whole is aware of the fact that skyscrapers nowadays can, in fact, be built using wood products, that there is a surge taking place, and that it is becoming more common to hear of buildings six storeys or more being built primarily with wood.

I think, when we take a look into the future of the growth of our country, whether industrial, commercial or residential, the demand for wood is going to continue to increase. It is going to be important that the federal government work with the provinces, territories and indigenous leaders in ensuring that this is an industry that does well into the future because of the many positive environmental reasons, plus the creation of jobs and so forth. There are all sorts of opportunities there, and I am glad to see that the bill is once again before the House. I believe, as I am sure all members do, that it will pass through, and I look forward to it ultimately becoming law.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

May 29th, 2023 / 11:05 a.m.
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Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour, once again, to rise to speak to this small but mighty bill, Bill S-222. It would require the minister of public works and government services to consider the environmental benefits of building materials when building federal infrastructure.

This bill has come a long way to get to this point. Today, we begin third reading with a real chance of seeing this bill become law in the coming days. I am very encouraged by the unanimous support that Bill S-222 has received here in this House at second reading and in committee, where it was passed and returned here without amendment.

I would like to thank retired senator Diane Griffin for sponsoring this bill in the other place in this Parliament. It began its life as my private member's bill, Bill C-354, in the 42nd Parliament. It passed through the House in that Parliament but died an unfortunate and unnecessary death in the Senate. It was an innocent bystander of some other political manoeuvring. I will mention as well that an earlier version of this bill, one more specifically targeted at wood alone, was tabled by Gérard Asselin, a member of the Bloc Québécois, in 2010 as Bill C-429.

It has been a long and tortuous path to get to this place here today. I am really looking forward to seeing this bill become law at last.

One thing I have not mentioned in my previous speeches on this bill is the role that Natural Resources Canada officials played in helping move this bill forward in the 42nd Parliament. I want to mention in particular the efforts by Sandra Schwartz, who helped amend the bill and focus it on the environmental benefits of building materials.

I would like to concentrate my comments today on the testimony we heard at committee on Bill S-222.

One of the witnesses in the hearings was from the Quebec Forest Industry Council. They pointed out three ways that forest products can help decarbonize construction. The most obvious of these is the fact that long-lasting wood products store carbon that was taken out of the atmosphere as the trees were growing.

The second is that the new trees that replace the trees that were harvested continue to store carbon throughout their lives. This is a more complicated calculation that must take into account the full life-cycle analysis of harvest and production. The QFIC has asked that such life-cycle analyses be developed by the federal government. It is my understanding that those analyses are being developed. They have been developed for other building products but are being developed for wood products.

The third is the fact that forest products can help decarbonize construction because there is such a huge potential for growth in the use of these products. Only 5% of large buildings use wood as a primary component, so increasing that percentage would have an increasing beneficial effect.

Both the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs testified as well before committee. Firefighters are naturally concerned about the safety aspects of building construction in Canada, as they are the ones who literally put their lives on the line to fight fires within these buildings.

As building codes change to include new advances in mass timber construction, firefighters ask that their safety be an added objective in those new codes. I can add here the assurance from other committee testimony that mass timber construction has been shown to be as safe as or safer than standard concrete and steel structures after testing by the National Research Council and other agencies. Government officials pointed out that the procedures asked for by the bill are generally in place in government policy or are in the process of implementation, including the life-cycle analysis of environmental impacts of various building materials.

There is a real sense of urgency in the forest industry for any policy changes that would help that sector produce more jobs and create more wealth within our rural communities, all in the face of a reduced harvest. This bill would do that. By increasing the government procurement of mass timber products, it would increase the domestic markets for our lumber and create new jobs for turning that lumber into long-lasting mass timber beams and panels. We lead the North American mass timber industry, but it is still a small sector and needs careful attention or we will lose that lead very quickly.

Structurelam, the pioneer company in mass timber in North America, based in my hometown of Penticton, has recently been forced to restructure and sell its assets because of an unfortunate contract disagreement with Walmart. Hopefully, it will remain in Canada and regain its strength as the leading proponent of engineered wood on the continent. However, its story is a reminder that the sector is in a vulnerable position, still open to growing pains. A bill promoting government procurement could provide significant benefits at a critical juncture in the growth of the industry.

I spent much of last week in Washington, D.C., talking to American legislators about international trade between Canada and the United States. One of the big issues there obviously is the softwood lumber disagreement. The wonderful thing about mass timber is that not only is it beautiful and safe and not only does it create new jobs, but it can be exported to the United States without facing the illegal tariffs we have under softwood lumber. This bill would help create domestic markets so our mills that create two-by-fours and two-by-sixes will have more domestic markets, allowing them to grow and keep going in the face of this dispute, which has really harmed mills across the country.

I have to remind everyone that, while I and others have concentrated on wood products in this debate, the bill is open to any materials that provide environmental benefits. I met repeatedly with the cement industry and heard of its efforts to decarbonize the concrete that makes up so much of our infrastructure today. The cement industry believes it can be competitive with forest products in many cases in these full life-cycle analyses on environmental benefits. I commend those efforts and would simply say that this is what I hope to accomplish with this bill.

Buildings contribute up to 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions, and we must take all steps to reduce those emissions. Whether those reductions are achieved through the use of mass timber, new decarbonized concrete products or other sustainable products is not important. What is important is that we act quickly to change the way we construct buildings as part of our existential efforts to fight climate change.

Bill S-222 would be a step in that direction. I hope that today we will see continued support so that this bill can become law at last and create beautiful, safe and environmentally friendly buildings across this country, and support industry and mills across this country.

After unanimous support at second reading and at committee, we have the opportunity today to end debate and see this bill become law within a day or two. I hope that all other parties will allow debate to collapse so we can get to a vote quickly. I do not know why any party would want to prolong this process.

I thank everyone here for their support of Bill S-222 and look forward to a short and positive debate.