Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

January 12, 2007 15:30 ET

Canada's New Government invests $200M in the fight against the Mountain Pine Beetle

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 12, 2007) - The Government of Canada today
announced measures to fight the mountain pine beetle and address its impacts
on communities and forests in British Columbia. The Federal Mountain Pine
Beetle Program will provide $200 million to minimize the consequences of the
beetle infestation and assist in efforts to slow the infestation's eastward
spread.
"This outbreak is a major threat to the economy and the communities of
British Columbia," said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural
Resources. "With this program, we'll be working with the Province of British
Columbia to ensure the economic and environmental well-being of our
communities and forest resources. We are taking action on this important issue
and delivering real results for Canadians."
The Government of Canada will work closely with the Province of British
Columbia to deliver a comprehensive, integrated strategy to combat the beetle
infestation.
The Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program measures focus on the following:


- slowing the spread of the beetle;
- recovering economic value from trees killed by the beetles; and
- protecting communities and forest resources in areas affected by the
infestation.


Project activities will include measures to control the eastward spread
of the beetle in British Columbia and along the British Columbia-Alberta
border. The program will also assist affected communities in identifying new
forest products, markets, industries and services to help ensure their
long-term economic well-being.
The Government of Canada recognizes that the forest industry is an
important contributor to the Canadian economy and that it has been facing
considerable challenges. This investment is part of the $400 million provided
in Budget 2006 to help the industry meet its challenges and ensure a more
stable future for forest-based communities and economies.
Canada is the world's largest exporter of forest products, with about one
third of Canada's potential harvest coming from British Columbia. Canada has
10 percent of the world's forests, including 30 percent of the world's boreal
forests. Forests provide jobs and economic benefits for many communities and
contribute to the well-being and health of Canadians and our environment.

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FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced
the Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program. It will inject $200 million
into efforts to fight the mountain pine beetle in British Columbia.

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media: Government of Canada Response to Mountain Pine Beetle NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

Contact Information

  • Ghyslain Charron,
    Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, (613) 992-4447;

    Kathleen Olson,
    Acting Director of Communications,
    Office of the Minister, Natural Resources
    Canada, Ottawa, (613) 996-2007