FREDERICTON, June 8, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced new investments in science and infrastructure upgrades in Fredericton. This $5.8-million announcement builds on the Government's unprecedented and historic investment in public infrastructure to ensure Canada's future economic growth for years to come. Today's investments include:
- Upgrades to NRCan's Atlantic Forestry Centre's scientific laboratories, heating and ventilation and air conditioning system; and
- Installing a specialized geomagnetic calibration facility at the Acadia Research Forest in Fredericton. This facility will be used to calibrate equipment in the national geomagnetic observatory network that monitors, forecasts and reports on the earth's magnetic field and on space weather, which can cause disturbances to critical infrastructure, including power distribution, and disruptions to GPS navigation systems.
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, using resources funded in Budget 2014, scientists at the Atlantic Forestry Centre are collaborating with partners to limit the impact of the spruce budworm outbreak in Quebec and New Brunswick.
New investments like the one announced this morning 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 2011, exports of forest products from the Province of New Brunswick have risen by $100 million annually.
Since 2007, the Government has invested an unprecedented $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.
- Canada's forest sector contributed $19.8 billion to our gross domestic product in 2013, directly employing over 216,000 workers in all regions of the country.
- 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 forest lands include over 150 million hectares of forest land 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.
"Today's investment in science and infrastructure upgrades is welcome news for scientific research and jobs here in Fredericton. Our government is once again demonstrating its commitment to supporting economic growth across Canada."
The Honourable Greg Rickford
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
SOURCE Natural Resources Canada
Image with caption: "The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, meets technicians at the Atlantic Forestry Centre. Minister Rickford announced $5.8 million in science and infrastructure upgrades today in Fredericton, New Brunswick (CNW Group/Natural Resources Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150608_C1120_PHOTO_EN_17749.jpg
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