OTTAWA, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The report on Canada's forestry industry by
Parliament's Standing Committee on Natural Resources lacks a sense of urgency
to deal with the crisis in the industry, says Dave Coles, President of
Canada's largest forest sector union.
"In an industry where jobs are disappearing daily, and whole communities
are at death's door, the time for action is now," he says, "not months from
Coles also warned against the committee's recommendation to encourage
more mergers and acquisitions in the industry. "This is a long-time demand of
the large companies. But there is ample evidence that consolidation is no
solution to problems like the forest sector is experiencing. In fact, in many
cases these merger deals have saddled the operations with enormous debts that
have led to mill closures."
The union did applaud some recommendations, including the call for a
"We are pleased that the recommendation calling for a national summit
with input from industry stakeholders, but the caveat that gives Minister Gary
Lunn another 120 days to respond to the idea is exasperating. As forest
workers and their families know too well, a lot can happen in four months."
"We applaud the emphasis on tax incentives to R&D investment. We hope
that the accelerated capital cost allowance will steer the industry towards
developing technology that will take advantage of the future trend towards
"We are also encouraged to see that incentives for green biofuels and
environmental innovation are a priority, as we see this as a complement to the
existing industry. However, we don't see biofuels as a substitute for
traditional forestry priorities. They should be developed as a complement, by
looking to use the otherwise unusable waste products.
For further information:
For further information: Dave Coles, CEP President, (613) 299-5628