Mr. Speaker, this week various government and non-government organizations are sponsoring activities across the country to promote and support the 2004 National Forest Week.
The slogan for this year's week, “Canada's Forests--A Fine Balance”, sums it up. It is a reminder of the vulnerability of our forests and their inhabitants. We must ensure the continuing health and sustainability of our forests.
For generations, Canada's forests have contributed immensely to the quality of life in our communities and they will continue to be a major source of employment and recreational activity for thousands of Canadians.
In B.C., especially in areas such as my riding of Skeena, forestry is an integral part of the overall economy. Challenges such as the softwood lumber dispute and the devastating mountain pine beetle epidemic continue to face the industry, but these challenges are being met head-on through innovation, investment and research.
Canada's forests are a sustainable resource that we must use wisely and with respect. Our future lies with our resources, and our forests and the forest industry deserve continuing support and recognition.