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2011/09 (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.

Tembec’s mill in Matane, Quebec, will receive $18.9 million from the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. A new high-pressure electric boiler will reduce the mill’s consumption of fossil fuels, and the burners used to dry pulp will be modified to allow the mill to use biogas.

The Tembec Matane mill is equipped with an activated sludge waste water treatment system. A new anaerobic reactor will be added to convert 65 percent of the mill effluent into biogas to fuel the pulp driers. These changes will reduce the mill’s greenhouse gas emissions by close to 22,000 tonnes. 

How the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program Works

Thirty-eight pulp and paper mills across Canada, representing 24 companies, generated credits under the $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program based on their 2009 production levels of black liquor, a liquid byproduct of the pulping process used to generate heat and power. Qualified companies are required to submit project proposals for their facilities and have until March 31, 2012, to apply the credits to environmental improvement projects. The program is working with these companies as they prepare their project proposals, and projects undergo environmental assessments.

Under the terms of the program, eligible firms can invest the credits generated at one mill in any of their pulp and paper facilities across Canada. This program does not limit funding recipients from seeking grants from provincial, municipal or other funding sources to help ensure they meet their environmental stewardship goals.

By investing in green technologies, this program is helping the forest industry contribute to the growth of a domestic clean energy industry, creating and maintaining high-quality jobs for Canadians while helping to sustain our environment.

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.

More details about the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program and its eligibility requirements are available at http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/subsite/pulp-paper-green-transformation.


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.