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PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a total of $30.4 million in federal funding to further support the transformation of the forest industry through innovation and market expansion.
“By encouraging the development and commercialization of innovative Canadian technologies and next-generation forest products, our Government is helping to unleash the tremendous potential of our forests and creating jobs across the country,” said Minister Oliver. “It’s great to see better times return to the forest industry,and our Government remains committed to its ongoing transformation.”
While addressing forest industry stakeholders at the annual Council of Forest Industries (COFI) convention, Minister Oliver announced an investment of $19.5 million in five projects in Western Canada under the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program that will help bring to market new and innovative forest products. Minister Oliver also announced $10.9 million in funding for the 2013–14 Expanding Market Opportunities Program, including support for a Canadian wood products trade office in India.
“Investments like these are helping to shape the forest industry of tomorrow,” added Minister Oliver. “Today, we are developing and commercializing products we could hardly have imagined just a few years ago and reaching new and more diverse markets domestically and abroad.”
Recognizing the challenges facing our forest sector, the federal government has taken decisive steps through measures introduced in Canada’s Economic Action Plan.
The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program supports Canada’s forest sector in becoming more economically competitive and environmentally sustainable through targeted investments in innovative technologies. Included in today’s announcement is funding for five unique projects across Western Canada. Each project represents a Canadian-first or in many cases, a world-first application of new technology. These exciting new projects will showcase Canada’s leadership in pioneering new products and new expertise for the benefit of our nation’s forest sector and for the communities that depend on it.
The Expanding Market Opportunities Program was designed to help create a thriving forest sector by growing international markets; promoting Canadian forest products as an environmentally responsible choice; expanding wood use in North American non-residential and mid-rise construction; and by demonstrating that Canada is a world leader in sustainable forest management and a preferred source of sustainable forest products. Today’s funding will help make Canadian forest products even more attractive and viable in the global marketplace.
While in Prince George, Minister Oliver also took the opportunity to meet with forest industry leaders to discuss important issues related to the forest sector.
For more information about federal support for Canada’s forest sector, please visit: www.canadaforests.nrcan.gc.ca
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