Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

March 14, 2011 12:45 ET

Harper Government Invests in Canada's Forest Sector

MEADOW LAKE, SASKATCHEWAN--(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. Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, was in Meadow Lake today to announce that Tolko Industries Ltd. will receive $1.3 million under the Transformative Technologies Pilot Scale Demonstration Program to support innovation and help expand market opportunities.

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy," said MP Clarke. "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 Meadow Lake."

Other funding for this project includes a $300,000 contribution from the Government of Saskatchewan. "Funding will come from Saskatchewan's value-added forestry program," said Enterprise Minister Jeremy Harrison. "Today's announcement is consistent with our objective of helping build a more diversified forest sector. It means more jobs and continued growth in our economy."

Tolko has also invested approximately $1.6 million in the project through cash and in-kind contributions. "This project, which applies research developed with FPInnovations, is a first in North America," said Parker Snyder, Plant Manager for Meadow Lake OSB. "We commend our government partners for investing in the future of this region and industry."

"As Canada's forest sector innovation hub, we believe that through multipartite projects we will be able to demonstrate the viability of new technologies with a view to creating and marketing new products and developing new markets," said Bob Knudson, FPInnovations' National Team Leader, Composites. "This project integrates innovative technology developed by FPInnovations and positions the organization as a strong partner of the Forest Industry's transformation."

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. Today's announcement 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 Meadow Lake, 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 Clarke. "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:

MP Rob Clarke announced today that the Government of Canada is investing $1.3 million in Tolko Industries' mill in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, 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.

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