Harper Government Invests in Science and Infrastructure Upgrades at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, July 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today announced investments in science and infrastructure upgrades to Natural Resources Canada's Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This $5 million in new funding builds on the Government's unprecedented and historic investment in public infrastructure to ensure Canada's future economic growth for years to come.

The funding announced today will be used for energy-efficiency and infrastructure upgrades to the Centre. The upgrades will provide long-term cost savings and will help federal scientists conduct important research on sustainable forest management including biological control of forest pests and diseases, forest ecosystems and forest productivity, and forest fire research.

Across the country, the Government of Canada is investing $380 million in federal laboratories and research facilities for major repairs and upgrades that will improve the ability to perform leading-edge research. For example, the Great Lakes Forestry Centre is working to combat the highly destructive emerald ash borer.

Since 2007, the Government has invested a total of $1.8 billion in support of the ongoing transformation and renewal of Canada's forest sector. Budget 2015 maintains this momentum by investing $86 million over two years to further extend the Forest Innovation Program and the Expanding Market Opportunities Program.

These investments are working to help ensure that Canada's forest industry continues to support and create jobs. Operating profits for Canada's forest sector reached $2.7 billion in 2013, up 152 percent from 2012. These are the highest operating profits earned over the past eight years. Since 2012, exports of forest products from Ontario have risen by $142 million.

Quick Facts

  • Canada's forest sector contributed $20.9 billion to our nominal gross domestic product in 2013, directly employing over 216,000 workers in all regions of the country and more than 43,000 in Ontario.
  • Less than 0.5 percent of Canada's forests are harvested annually to manufacture products for the domestic and international markets, and all forests harvested on public lands must be regenerated.
  • Canada's forestlands include over 160 million hectares of forestland certified by third parties as being sustainably managed — 43 percent of the world's certified forests.
  • In 2013, the value of Canada's forest product exports increased by 13.1 percent from 2012 levels — rising to $28.4 billion from $25.1 billion — and production levels were higher across all market segments.
  • In addition, the Expanding Market Opportunities Program has also helped to open doors to new business opportunities and has diversified markets for Canadian forest products. These efforts have been particularly successful in increasing sales of Canadian wood products to China, where exports have grown by more than 1,000 percent between 2007 and 2013.

 

Quotes

"Our government is proud to support the re-emergence of our forest sector. In fact, since 2006, our government has invested an unprecedented $1.8 billion toward the ongoing transformation and renewal of the forest industry across Canada. Today's investment in science and infrastructure upgrades is welcome news for the scientists conducting leading-edge research at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie."

Bryan Hayes
Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie

"Today's announcement is part of the Government's unprecedented and historic investment in public infrastructure to ensure Canada's future economic growth for years to come. Our government's support for forest industry innovation is helping create jobs and growth across Canada. This investment supports important scientific research that will enhance competitiveness and prosperity in Canada's forest industry."

Greg Rickford
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

For further information: Media may contact: Alexandra Lemieux, Press Secretary, Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, 613-996-2007 or Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 613-992-4447; The general public may contact: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT, Telephone: 613-995-0947, TTY: 613-996-4397 (teletype for the hearing-impaired), E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca; Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan); NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

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