Manufacturing of laminated wood timbers would be one way to boost the economy of the North, said Ontario’s Green Party leader Tuesday, while admiring a building constructed of that very material.
“We’re sitting on a gold mine here if we start utilizing new technologies and advanced manufacturing,” said Mike Schreiner, after a tour of the McEwen School of Architecture. “If you want to talk about a climate change solution, wood buildings are great because they have so much embodied energy in them and the trees store carbon emissions.”
Wood construction is also less energy-intensive than cement, he added, as the latter generates a lot of greenhouse gases in its manufacture. Schreiner said he could picture a series of plants in Northern Ontario that could produce cross-laminate timber — which utilizes wood that would otherwise go to waste — for the construction of prefabricated buildings across the province and even farther afield.
“We’re going to pushing hard for the Ontario government to change the building codes to commit to public procurement of wood buildings and to commit to putting some money into the industry, because we see it as a new economy solution,” he said. “That’s how we’re going to build the green middle class and bring back a lot of those good, middle-class-paying jobs we’ve lost.”
Schreiner, who is hoping to secure the first seat for the Greens in Ontario by taking the Guelph riding this time around, said his party also supports the location of a chromite smelter in Sudbury, as long as it adheres to strict environmental standards.
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