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New technologies and emerging markets are offering tremendous opportunities for jobs and growth in Canada’s forest sector. Our government’s efforts to help Canada’s forest industry benefit from these opportunities include new phases of support to help them become more energy-efficient and innovative. This increases our forest sector’s competitiveness when marketing their products at home and abroad.
Our Government recognizes that our forest sector is an important economic driver and a valued source of skilled, high-paying jobs in rural communities across our country. We are always working together with industry, the provinces and other partners to help strengthen opportunities for our forest sector to create jobs and growth. These partnerships inform new approaches and decisions that increase strategic support for Canadian jobs in the forest sector.
Federal Government: Investing in Transformation
Our Government has taken an interest in supporting the renewal of Canada’s forest sector. We have phased in strategic investments to help strengthen the sector’s competitiveness while increasing their overall energy efficiency.
Economic Action Plan 2012 committed $105 million over two years to continue our support of this important transformation and our approach to helping this industry innovate and market products in key markets such as Asia and Europe.
Canada’s efforts to increase the export of wood products to China are achieving results. Our lumber exports to Asia have essentially doubled every year over the past five years. They have also maintained close to 5,000 jobs at mills across Canada, and about 10,000 in related industries and services.
The Forest Innovation Program is receiving $66 million to focus on the development of emerging and breakthrough technologies. This will help Canada's forest sector continue to adopt emerging technologies ready for commercialization. Some of these new technologies are developed with support from the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, such as those related to forest biomass. The Transformative Technologies Program is providing support for nanotechnology and next-generation forest products. By guiding innovation from the laboratory to the commercialization phase, our Government is helping to ensure that early technological successes are translated into economic benefits.
The Expanding Market Opportunities Program is receiving $39 million to support activities that will expand Canadian wood markets through increasing exports into new offshore markets, developing non-residential markets in North America, such as schools, hospitals and shopping centres, and promoting the strong sustainable forest management reputation of the Canadian forest industry. Expanding and diversifying forest sector markets will lead to increased exports and jobs.
This year’s new budget contributions are a part of the Government’s ongoing work with industry, provincial governments and other important stakeholders to help our forest sector benefit from the growing bio-economy, where innovation and environmental performance are key.
Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP)
In June 2009, our Government set aside $1 billion in funding to help pulp and paper companies that produce black liquor – a by product of the chemical pulping process – improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of their mills.
This important contribution as part of our phased approach helped increase the capacity of mills across Canada to generate renewable energy. Companies had until March 31, 2012, to draw upon these credits for the implementation of capital projects with demonstrable environmental benefits.
Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program
In Economic Action Plan 2010, our Government created the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program (IFIT) to support innovative and promising pilot and first-commercial technologies. This investment is part of our phased approach to help the Canadian forest industry increase its sustainability.
Projects funded under the program will benefit the forest and wood products industry by building up technical capacity. It brings advanced technologies out of laboratories and into industrial facilities.
For example, Lauzon Distinctive Hardwood Flooring, located in Papineauville, Quebec, is helping to transform the hardwood flooring industry.
With our Government’s financial commitment of $2.6 million and in collaboration with the Centre de recherche Industrielle du Québec and FPInnovations, Lauzon will be installing leading-edge, Canadian-developed scanning technology that will allow the company to produce consistently high-quality and customized hardwood flooring with minimal waste.
A top employer in the region, this project will help Lauzon sustain 120 jobs at its flooring mill in Papineauville and maintain its position as an industry leader.
Working Together to Support Our Forest Industry
Our Government continues its phased approach to make substantial contributions into the forest industry to assist their efforts to increase energy efficiency, innovation and job creation opportunities. For example, the Government of Canada has previously invested:
- In 2008, $10 million over two years to promote our forest industry in international markets as a model for environmental innovation and sustainability.
- In 2009, $40 million over two years for the Canada Wood, Value to Wood and North American Wood First programs to help the forest industry market initiatives internationally.
- In 2010, $170 million over two years to support market diversification and innovation in the forest industry; including research and demonstration projects on new forest products and initiatives to help forest and wood products companies market products internationally.
- In 2011, $60 million to help forestry companies innovate and benefit from new opportunities abroad.
Office of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
Natural Resources Canada
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