Government of Canada

Government of Canada

May 16, 2014 12:50 ET

Harper Government Invests in the Transformation of New Brunswick's Forest Industry

Canada's Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program Helps Commercialize Innovation

SUSSEX, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - May 16, 2014) - Natural Resources Canada

The Honourable Rob Moore, Regional Minister for New Brunswick and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today announced an investment of almost $1 million to support the transformation of New Brunswick's forest industry through the commercialization of an innovative technology.

Through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, the Government of Canada is investing $982,000 to enable Irving Pulp & Paper to complete construction of a state-of-the-art mechanized facility at its Sussex Tree Nursery that will produce up to four million improved seedlings per year through a process known as somatic embryogenesis. The process is a more effective way of creating and selecting the best trees for planting. This breakthrough could lead to higher-value Canadian planted trees and much faster regeneration of Canada's managed forests - great benefits for jobs and growth in Canada's forest industry.

The project is the first large-scale advanced seedling plant in Canada that incorporates both the somatic embryogenesis process and Irving's patented Endophyte-Enhanced Seedling Technology. This technology enhances the seedlings' resistance and will enable Irving to inoculate tens of millions of trees against attacks from insects and fungi.

The funding announced today is in addition to the $1.4 million provided to this project under the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Atlantic Innovation Program, for a total Government of Canada contribution of almost $2.4 million.

Through this support, Irving Pulp & Paper will be able to substantially increase its seedling production in a cost-effective way.

Quick Facts

  • The Harper Government investments are complemented by investments of $500,000 by the Government of New Brunswick and approximately $2.1 million from Irving Pulp and Paper. Somatic embryogenesis is a seedling reproductive technique invented by research scientists at Natural Resources Canada's Atlantic Forestry Centre.
  • Once completed, the new facility will create two new jobs over the next two years (in addition to the current three) and at least five additional jobs over the next four to five years.
  • Canada's forest products sector is an important part of our economy, contributing $19.75 billion to the country's GDP in 2013 while supporting 216,500 jobs across the country.


"Today's announcement demonstrates our government's commitment to investing in science and helping to bring new ideas from the laboratory to the market. This project supports our goal of creating jobs, growth and prosperity in the forest industry in New Brunswick and across the country."

The Honourable Rob Moore
Regional Minister for New Brunswick and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

"Investing in innovative technology is an important part of our government's plan to responsibly develop our natural resources and create jobs. This seedling technology project at J.D. Irving, Limited in Sussex will help New Brunswick's forestry industry become more competitive and sustain more jobs in our communities."

The Honourable David Alward
Premier of New Brunswick

"Over the past 20 years, J.D. Irving, Limited has invested over $20 million in forest research and tree improvement. This new, state-of-the-art research facility will allow us to concentrate our efforts in one centre of excellence, increasing our research capability in terms of building space and technological capacity. We look forward to this facility contributing to other areas of scientific discovery in the years ahead."

"We appreciate the government support that has helped bring us to the company's investment in this new facility. Natural Resources Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Province of New Brunswick are valued partners in the commercialization of groundbreaking science. The 20-year effort by Dr. David Miller of Carleton University is one example. Dr. Miller's research and discovery has resulted in patents in North America and Europe and has the potential to reduce pesticide use over time with a natural treatment that builds tree tolerance against spruce budworm."

Jim Irving
Co-CEO, J.D. Irving, Limited

Related Products

Backgrounder - Somatic Embryogenesis Project at Irving Pulp & Paper

Associated Links

Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program

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Contact Information

  • Media may contact:
    Alexandra Lemieux
    Office of the Minister of Natural Resources and
    Minister for the Federal Economic Development
    Initiative for Northern Ontario, Ottawa

    Kelsie Corey
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Rob Moore
    Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

    Media Relations
    Natural Resources Canada

    The general public may contact:
    Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
    Telephone: 613-995-0947
    TTY: 613-996-4397
    (teletype for the hearing-impaired)