Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

March 14, 2011 14:27 ET

Harper Government Invests in Canada's Forest Sector

PRINCE GEORGE, 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. Dick Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo–Prince George, was in Prince George today to announce that Canfor Pulp will receive $2.5 million under the Transformative Technologies Pilot-Scale Demonstration Program to support innovation and expand market opportunities.

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy," said MP Harris. "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 Prince George."

Other funding for the project includes a $2.1-million contribution from the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands, bringing the total funding to $4.6 million. "This investment is another example of how we're working to extract more value from our forest resources and explore new pulp products," said Minister Pat Bell.

In addition, Canfor Pulp will invest an additional $4.4 million in cash and in-kind contributions.

"This project will build on Canfor Pulp's leadership in the Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft market through the installation of 'real-time' testing systems for our woodchips, pulping process and final pulp products," said Robert Dufresne, General Manager, Northwood Pulpmill. "This will allow Canfor Pulp to optimize the value chain and ensure that the raw materials and finished pulp products are matched to the customer's end use. This partnership between government and industry will enhance Canfor Pulp's competitiveness in the global pulp market."

"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 Jim Dangerfield, FPInnovations' Executive Vice-President. "This project integrates innovative technologies 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 Prince George, 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 Harris. "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:

Dick Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo–Prince George, announced today that the Government of Canada is investing $2.5 million in Canfor Pulp's mill in Prince George, 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.

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