Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

March 14, 2011 13:15 ET

Harper Government Invests in Canada's Forest Sector

OKANAGAN FALLS, 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 Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board, was in Okanagan Falls today to announce that Structurlam will receive $2.5 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 Minister Day. "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 Okanagan Falls."

Other funding for this project includes a $2.5-million contribution from the Government of British Columbia. "Structurlam's new venture into producing cross-laminated timber directly fits in with B.C.'s Wood First priority," said Forests, Mines and Lands Minister Pat Bell. "It's important that we continue to grow new markets for wood products and support our value-added industry."

Structurlam has also invested approximately $7.5 million in the project through cash and in-kind contributions. "Over its 50-year history, Structurlam has gained a reputation for adopting new technology to expand the use of engineered wood product," said Bill Downing, President of Structurlam Ltd. "We now expand the use of wood again with the production of cross-laminated timber panels. Today's investment from Natural Resources Canada will jumpstart production and allow architects to immediately specify the panels in commercial and institutional construction, while taking advantage of the abundant beetle-killed fibre that is currently available."

"With innovative technologies and strong partnerships, FPInnovations is building the future of forestry in Canada," said Alan Potter, FPInnovations' Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives & Technology. "Through innovation, we are transforming the forest sector and delivering new opportunities for growth." 

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 Okanagan Falls, our Government is continuing to implement our plan that supports the transformation of Canada's forest sector for the benefit of all Canadians," said Minister Day. "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:

Treasury Board President Stockwell Day announced today that the Government of Canada is investing $2.5 million in Structurlam's facility in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, 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
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    questions@nrcan.gc.ca