Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

April 14, 2009 10:00 ET

Natural Resources Canada: Canada's Economic Action Plan Addresses Forest Sector's Challenges

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 14, 2009) - Forestry workers and businesses impacted by the global recession will receive renewed support through the Harper Government's Economic Action Plan. Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt and Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture) Jean-Pierre Blackburn today announced a $170-million package of measures to help the Canadian forestry sector adapt to these global challenges.

"Our Government is working closely with workers and businesses who are struggling during this period of challenge and change," said Minister Raitt. "This new investment will help build a better future for Canada's forest communities by opening up new markets for Canadian forest products. It will also help build on Canada's position as a world leader in developing new technologies in the forest sector."

"This investment is another solid step forward in helping the communities and workers who depend on the forest sector weather the current economic storm," said Minister Blackburn. "By targeting the marketing and innovation side of our forest industries, our Government is not only helping this sector during these current challenges, but we are also giving this sector a stronger foundation for the future."

Canada's forest sector is undergoing an important restructuring due to a number of competitive challenges, including increased competition from foreign producers, weak North American and global demand for forest products and a downturn in the economy. Most recently, the forest sector has encountered a new competitive challenge with the implementation of an American customs duty of 10 percent on imports of softwood lumber from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Despite these challenges, new technology and emerging global markets offer a promising future for Canada's forest sector. They hold the potential to open a range of new product and market possibilities for Canada's forest sector and forest communities.

As outlined in Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada will invest:

- $40 million to expand domestic and international markets for Canadian forest products as well as $10 million to support large-scale demonstrations of the use of Canadian wood in construction; and

- $80 million to support the development of next-generation forest products and another $40 million to develop pilot-scale demonstrations of these products leading to commercial applications.

These new investments are endorsed by Canada's forest sector and address its priorities outlined during the 2009 pre-budget consultations. They will help the forest sector meet current competitive challenges as well as strengthen its ability to compete in a changing global marketplace.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, has highlighted the Government of Canada's commitment to improving the competitiveness of Canada's forest sector with $170-million investment, over two years, to assist the industry with its current challenges. The funding supports renewed initiatives aimed at market diversification and forest innovation.

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

New Investments in Market Diversification and Forest Innovation

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Contact Information

  • Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Jasmine MacDonnell
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    613-996-2007
    or
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447