Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

March 09, 2012 10:15 ET

Government of Canada Supports Signature Bois Laurentides in Its Efforts to Diversify the Forest Economy

MONT-LAURIER, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 9, 2012) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, announces that Signature Bois Laurentides has been granted financial assistance to support the organization's efforts to find ways to capitalize on forest residues from felling operations in Hautes-Laurentides.

"The Government of Canada is committed to supporting organizations that, like Signature Bois Laurentides and its member companies, are looking to develop new products by optimizing the use of natural resources and are thereby contributing to the diversification of the economy," says Minister Lebel.

Signature Bois Laurentides, an association of enterprises from the wood sector, intends to conduct a feasibility study on the reclamation of biomass generated by forest development and felling activities. The organization believes the collection and sorting of residues from these operations could be made profitable by complementary, high valued-added applications in such sectors as food, pharmaceuticals, chemical products, energy and innovative materials. The forest crisis that has plagued the region for years is forcing enterprises in the sector to innovate and invest in production methods that further develop the resource. That is precisely what Signature Bois Laurentides is hoping to achieve with this project.

About the Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies (TISQFE)

This support was provided in the form of a $159,600 non-repayable contribution granted through Canada Economic Development's Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies (TISQFE).

The TISQFE was brought into force in June 2010 to help communities affected by the forestry crisis diversify their economies in order to ensure their growth and create and maintain employment. The initiative's goal is also to support small and medium-sized businesses in these communities in their efforts to secure their sustainable development.

Last July 14, the Government of Canada announced its intention to allocate a further $20 million in funding over two years to support the Quebec silvicultural sector for the years 2011 and 2012.

This measure is one of several put in place by the Government of Canada in the past months to counteract the effects of the forest crisis. Others include, for example, the Community Adjustment Fund, with its $1 billion budget over two years to mitigate the impacts of the crisis, the $1 billion granted to the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program to help enterprises carry out environmentally-friendly projects and the $230 million invested, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, for silvicultural work and the restoration of bridges and culverts on multi-use forest roads. Workers have also received their fair share of support, with the Government of Canada introducing some of the most generous measures in history to help them through the economic crisis.

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