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2011/02 (a)

Backgrounder

Protecting Jobs in Canada’s Forest Sector


The Harper Government is making investments in Canada’s forest sector that are improving the environmental performance of mills and helping to position the industry at the forefront of the clean energy economy.

The Government is working with industry, provincial governments and other key stakeholders to help transform our forest industry and to help it take advantage of the growing bioeconomy, where innovation and environmental performance are key.

Today, as part of a $278 million investment in mills across the country, the Harper Government is investing $10.4 million in Irving Paper through the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program.

To conserve energy year-round, Irving will install equipment at its two Saint John mills to capture and recover waste steam that is currently released into the atmosphere and will modify its processes so that the mills can maximize the use of low-pressure steam.

As a result of the projects, the mills will be able to collectively save nearly 580,000 gigajoules of energy a year — enough to power more than 13,000 homes. In addition, the projects will result in a reduction of greenhouse gases by more than 31,000 tonnes per year — equivalent to the emissions produced by over 8,600 cars.

Promoting Forest Innovation and Investment

The key to a strong future for the forest sector is to promote innovation and entrepreneurial activity within a competitive business environment. The Harper Government is working to help Canada’s forest sector take advantage of new market opportunities by researching innovative products that meet the needs of the marketplace.

As outlined in Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Harper Government has delivered $170 million over two years to improve the forest sector’s long-term competitiveness through renewed investments in market diversification and forest innovation. This funding includes $120 million to help promote forest innovation and investment and $50 million to expand market opportunities for Canadian forest products.

Other key Harper Government initiatives in support of forest sector sustainability and renewal include the $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. Budget 2010: Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth committed an additional $100 million over four years to support the development and commercialization of advanced technologies in the forest sector.

In addition to its ongoing support of Canada’s forest industry, the Harper Government established the $1-billion Community Adjustment Fund and the $1-billion Community Development Trust to help reduce the short-term impacts of economic restructuring in single-industry communities facing challenges as a result of the global economic downturn.

For more details about the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program, visit http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/subsite/pulp-paper-green-transformation.

For additional details on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.html.


Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

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