Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

October 11, 2010 10:00 ET

Minister Lebel Takes the Measure of France's Wood Industry

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC AND PARIS, FRANCE--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2010) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, was able to see first hand the challenges facing France's wood industry and the steps taken to bolster the sector when visiting the Centre Régional d'Innovation et de Transfert de Technologies (CRITT Bois) of the École Nationale Supérieure des Technologies et Industries du Bois (ENSTIB) in Épinal.

Minister Lebel took the opportunity during his tour of CRITT Bois regional innovation and technology transfer centre to discuss the challenges facing the forest industry and communities as well as new alternatives such as biomass harvesting and new wood construction methods.

He also said that Quebec forest producers need to expand their business in Europe. "We have to show Europeans our expertise and what we have to offer. I believe there are good opportunities for collaboration there that would serve the interests of our respective countries. Cooperation agreements have existed between our countries for several years."

With its 15 million hectares, the French forest is the third largest in Europe. As in Quebec, it generates many jobs in France. Unfortunately, more than 25,000 jobs have been lost in recent years due to the slowdown in the pulp and paper and furniture industries.

"Clearly, Quebec's forestry crisis is not isolated, but part of a global forest issue. I believe that in France, as in Quebec, the conclusion is the same: communities and the industry have to adjust swiftly to the new market needs and new economic realities," said Minister Lebel.

Building on the Government of Canada's support for the forest sector and communities that have been affected by the downturn in the economy, the Minister is on tour in Europe in order to, among other things, explore development opportunities for Quebec businesses in the French and Italian wood markets.

Contact Information

  • Source - Media in Canada
    Canada Economic Development
    Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
    Simon Bachand, Special Assistant
    514-496-7664
    simon.bachand@dec-ced.gc.ca
    or
    Sources - Media in France and Italy
    Embassy of Canada in Paris
    Normand Smith
    Spokesperson
    144-43-2255 or Cell: 06-07-25-61-47
    normand.smith@international.gc.ca