THUNDER BAY – On Wednesday, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association participated at the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Members Bills to express support for Bill 52: An Act to amend the Building Code Act 1992 with respect to the height of wood frame buildings. The Bill seeks to amend the Ontario Building Code to facilitate greater use of wood in buildings by increasing the maximum height limit of wood frame buildings from four to six storey’s.
NOMA Vice President Councillor Iain Angus of Thunder Bay told the Committee, “Creating demand for Ontario’s wood products supports the forest industry – a key economic sector of the province. By increasing opportunities to build with wood from Ontario’s sustainable managed forests, the proposed code changes support forest industry jobs and forest dependent communities.”
“Wood is the only renewable construction material,” continued Angus. “The expanded use of wood is good for the environment because it captures and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that would be released back into the air if the trees are burned or decomposed. In addition, an increase in demand for wood will encourage further forestation and those tree seedlings will continue to capture carbon dioxide as they grow.”
“Information provided by the Canadian Wood Council shows that for every 125 mid-rise structures of six storey’s built in Ontario under the amended Building Code, the amount of wood used would sustain a mid-sized softwood lumber mill and approximately 200 direct mill and woodland jobs,” Angus concluded. “There is no doubt that these proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code would result in increased demand for lumber products that we believe would allow idled sawmills in Northwestern Ontario to resume production, providing much needed jobs in our communities.”