Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

March 14, 2011 11:45 ET

Harper Government Invests in Canada's Forest Sector

PORT ALBERNI, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - The Government of Canada today announced a series of important investments across the country, totalling $88 million, to protect jobs in Canada's forest industry. The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State for Sport, and Dr. James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo–Alberni, were in Port Alberni today at the Catalyst Paper mill that recently received $4.7 million under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program to substantially improve the environmental performance of the mill. 

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy," said Minister Lunn. "With the economic recovery still fragile, we will continue to take action to protect and create jobs in Canada, including the important forestry jobs in Port Alberni."

"We appreciate the support of the Natural Resources Canada program, which enables this investment at our Port Alberni mill," said Catalyst President and CEO Kevin J. Clarke. "Energy efficiency, environmental improvements and cost savings in fuel consumption, operations and maintenance are triple benefits expected from this boiler upgrade."

Despite signs of recovery in some segments of the forest sector, there remains a need to find new and more efficient ways of using wood, wood fibre and its byproducts. This project will increase efficiency and is expected to allow the mill to save nearly 65,000 GJ of energy a year — enough to power more than 1,500 homes. This initiative is part of the Government of Canada's plan to improve the environmental performance and competitiveness of Canada's forest industry by focusing on innovation and new product development that will ultimately expand market opportunities for both traditional and novel Canadian wood, pulp and paper products."

"With this investment in Port Alberni, our Government is continuing to implement our plan that supports the transformation of Canada's forest sector for the benefit of all Canadians," said MP Lunney. "Our investments are supporting expansion of market opportunities for Canadian forest products, reducing our environmental footprint, improving the competitiveness of the forest industry and helping protect the jobs of the families who depend on our forest sector for their livelihood."

Today's announcement builds on the success of many initiatives that are helping to sustain and enhance Canada's forest industry and the communities that depend on it. Budget 2010: Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth established the $100-million Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program to promote the development, commercialization and implementation of advanced technologies in the forest sector — helping create a world-class industry able to compete in the clean energy economy of tomorrow.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Minister of State Gary Lunn and MP James Lunney were at the Catalyst Paper mill in Port Alberni, British Columbia, today. The mill recently received $4.7 million to help transform the Canadian forest industry while enhancing environmental performance and competitiveness.

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

Securing Jobs Through Forest Sector Innovation and Renewal

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

Contact Information

  • Media may contact:
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Richard Walker
    Director of Communications
    613-996-2007
    or
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447
    or
    The general public may contact:
    Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
    613-995-0947
    TTY: 613-996-4397 (teletype for the hearing-impaired)
    questions@nrcan.gc.ca