Government of Canada

Government of Canada

April 20, 2009 13:52 ET

Governments of Canada and Quebec Take Additional Action to Further Address Immediate Forest Sector Challenges

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 20, 2009) - Support for Quebec's forest sector will be accelerated through the creation of a Canada-Quebec Forestry Task Team announced today by the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Claude Bechard, Quebec's Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife.

"Our Government is extremely concerned about the difficulties facing the forest sector, and the workers and communities that depend on it, both in Quebec and across Canada," said Minister Raitt. "We will be working closely with the Government of Quebec to coordinate and fast-track initiatives that will support the forest sector and the businesses and jobs that depend on it."

"We want to act swiftly and we want our actions to make a real and immediate impact. We wish to offer a glimmer of hope to the workers, the communities and the businesses who are in need," concluded Minister Bechard.

Ministers Raitt and Bechard have tasked senior officials with ensuring the implementation of investments being made are accelerated and will leverage the benefits of programming for the greatest impact. This will provide immediate support and will position the industry for long-term success and prosperity. The ministers have asked their officials to report on their progress by May 15, 2009.

The Canada-Quebec task team will focus work on six areas:

- Forest management and silviculture;

- Supporting forest workers and communities;

- Access to credit;

- Technology and innovation;

- Value-added manufacturing; and

- Market development for wood products;

Minister Raitt also announced funding of approximately $211 million for Quebec through the $1 billion Community Adjustment Fund for communities affected by the economic downturn. The forest sector has been identified as one of the priority areas and will benefit substantially from this funding.

"There are already a number of options available to us, including the Community Adjustment Fund contained in our Economic Action Plan," said Minister Raitt, "The challenge is to now ensure these supports go to the people who need them most as efficiently and effectively as possible."

The Community Adjustment Fund is part of the Government's Economic Action plan and provides $1 billion over two years to create jobs and maintain employment in communities that have been strongly affected by the downturn in the economy. This fund will build on the good work of existing federal programs including the Community Development Trust, the $170-million fund for forest product market diversification and innovation, and programs delivered by Canada's Regional Development Agencies.

The following backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

Community Adjustment Fund

Government of Canada Support for the Forest Industry announced today: A Canada-Quebec Forestry Task Team

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Contact Information

  • Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Jasmine MacDonnell
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    613-996-2007
    or
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447
    or
    Office of Claude Bechard
    Pascal Dastous
    Director of Communications
    418-643-7295
    or
    Ministere des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune
    Quebec
    Media Relations
    418-627-8609