MP sees sustainable option in federal preference for wood construction

MP Richard Cannings believes Ottawa should use more Canadian wood in its construction of federal buildings.

MP Richard Cannings has introduced legislation calling on the federal government to use more Canadian wood products in the construction or repair of its properties.

Bill C-354 — an Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (Use of Wood) — if passed, would compel the government to give preference to projects that promote the use of wood when building, maintaining or repairing federally owned properties.

“Canadian wood product manufacturers produce amazing products that are sold around the World and are a sustainable option whose use should be promoted more and more here at home” said Mr. Cannings, the MP for South Okanagan-West Kootenay. “We know that communities account for more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHG’s) in Canada, and much of that comes from buildings themselves.

“By promoting the use of wood in its own buildings, which emits much less GHG’s than concrete, the Government of Canada can help to reduce its own carbon footprint and help us get closer to meeting our Paris Accord targets.”

Mr. Cannings, the NDP’s Natural Resources Critic, noted advances in wood construction technology have increased the possibilities of what can be built with wood.

Recently the University of British Columbia completed construction on the Brock Commons student residence, the world’s tallest wood building at 18 storeys. Also in 2014 the Cree community of Mistissini, Quebec, opened the “Mistissini Bridge,” a 160 metre-long, glue-laminated, wood-beam semi-continuous arched structure bridge.

The bridge is one of the largest wooden structures in Canada and won two national awards at the 2016 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

“As we have seen at UBC and in Mistissini, we have made great advancements in what we can do with wood construction,” said Mr. Cannings. “These are Canadian innovations that we are now exporting to the World and we should be using them more here at home.

“The future of the Canadian forestry sector comes from innovations like these.”

Mr. Canning’s riding is home to Structurlam Products Ltd., a leader in mass timber construction. The company has an impressive portfolio of more than 50 buildings worldwide constructed with cross-laminated timber and other innovative wood products.

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