I want to thank the honourable member for that very important question.
As my honourable colleague knows, our government is committed to tackling climate change. We know that is the biggest long-term threat of our generation. In doing so, we can create great opportunities around green growth. That is so important during this time in the economic recovery.
I also want to say that Canada's forestry sector is one of the most sustainable in the world. I think it bears repeating that the economy and the environment do indeed go hand in hand.
Our government is committed to supporting the softwood lumber industry by promoting its reputation around the world. I know that our softwood industry takes incredible pride in being a global leader in sustainable forestry management and environmentally responsible forestry.
The honourable member talks about how there are additional opportunities for the sector. What they are doing is incredible. They are innovating and looking to diversify not only their products but to diversify opportunities in international markets. Very many of those companies that are diversifying are also small and medium-sized businesses. Whether it is biofuels or wood-based bioproducts going into other various industries—whether it be automotive, chemical, food or cosmetics—this is what we are seeing of our forestry sector.
Our government has invested in the trade diversification strategy here. We are helping our Canadian businesses pursue opportunities in the global marketplace. We are able to say that we're the one G7 country that has a free trade agreement with every other G7 country. We have 1.5 billion customers in a global marketplace and we're helping our businesses connect.
Let me just give you one concluding statistic here. Our trade commissioner service, which I think is absolutely terrific, has provided over 705 instances of referrals or connections to help 260 forestry clients make those exact connections in what they are doing here, helping them diversify and grow and then getting them into international markets.
In fact, I have a long list of businesses that are doing just that. It's terrific that there are lots of them in B.C.