Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

February 08, 2007 13:00 ET

Canada's New Government Invests in Forest Competitiveness

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 8, 2007)- Canada's New Government understands that
a strong forest sector is vital to a strong Canadian economy. Today, the
Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, announced funding of
$127.5 million to address long-term competitiveness in the forest industry.
These new measures will help begin to create the environment necessary for
Canada's industry to compete on a global scale.
The industry is currently facing a series of challenges, which includes
increases in costs, appreciation of the Canadian dollar, growth in offshore
competition and constraints to fibre supply.
"Our goal is a strong, competitive and sustainable forest products
industry," said Minister Lunn. "We will work with the provinces and industry
to position Canada as a leader in new technologies, products and markets."
Communities and industries involved in the forest sector in all regions
of the country will benefit from this initiative. An investment of
$122.5 million will support three initiatives led by Natural Resources Canada:
promoting innovation and investment in the forest sector, expanding market
opportunities, and developing a national forest pest strategy. In addition,
$5 million is earmarked for Human Resources and Social Development Canada
(HRSDC) to form a Human Resource Forest Sector Council that will help identify
and address skills and adjustment issues in the industry.
Today's investment is part of the $400 million provided in Budget 2006 to
ensure a more stable future for the forest industry. In January this year,
$200 million was invested in the Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program to
combat the spread and consequences of the mountain pine beetle infestation. In
addition, funding in the amount of $72.5 million for the Targeted Initiative
for Older Workers was announced by HRSDC last October, and the expert panel to
study labour conditions affecting older workers was announced in January 2007.
Canada, a leader in sustainable forest management, is home to ten percent
of the world's forests. It is the world's largest exporter of forest products.
The investments of Canada's New Government will help to ensure that the
Canadian forest industry will continue to contribute to the well-being and
health of Canadians and our environment.

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FOR BROADCAST USE:

Today, the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, announced
Government of Canada funding of $127.5 million to address long-term
competitiveness in the forest industry. These investments will help to
ensure a strong forest sector, which is vital to a strong Canadian
economy.

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media: Forest Industry Long-Term Competitiveness Initiative

Contact Information

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

    General inquiries: Mon-Fri,
    8:30-4:30 EST, (613) 995-0947, TTY: (613) 996-4397
    (teletype for the hearing-impaired), questions@nrcan.gc.ca