This will address more of the comments that we sometimes hear when bills like this are being addressed.
Often it is asked whether Bill C-354 picks sides. Really, this is a Public Works real properties act or policy and in the end, should wood not be treated or considered equally? It is a structural material much like concrete or steel and should be considered equally.
The spirit of this bill causes that to happen. Our experience with the private sector is that builders love a third choice. If nothing else, it forces everybody to sharpen their pencils and you get better value for your investments. That's a terrific acknowledgement right there.
Are jobs affected? I would say not likely. Most wood buildings are in fact hybrid wood, concrete, steel buildings. Given the expansion of the infrastructure sector and the work in that sector right now, I don't think any material is suffering job loss. Now, there's been a shrinkage in the U.S., so maybe an industry that shipped up to 30% of their product into the U.S. might have some losses as a result of that, but not because of the Canadian market. A lot of what we do is expanding the market, allowing for cost-efficient solutions to happen now rather than later.
The question I would like to address is whether wood buildings are unsafe or not durable. That comment is often made in respect to a code plus discussion. In the end, durability is by design. Climate change adaptation or durability are by design. We can design wood building systems that meet any requirement of the future. We can put our minds to it, and we have great research institutions that will allow us to get there. All that to say that I don't buy that argument at all. What's most important in this situation is that codes and requirements are kept performance based, which allows all materials to act on these solutions independently or in their own right.
Those are my comments. Thank you very much.