Ontario Strengthens Local Forest Industry



    McGuinty Government Investment To Help Secure Jobs in Thunder Bay

    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario is strengthening the local forest industry by helping
Abitibi-Bowater increase the efficiency of the local pulp and paper complex.
    The province is providing the company with a $1.16-million grant towards
the $11.6-million project through the Forest Sector Prosperity Fund. The
funding will help the company increase the efficiency of its kraft pulping
process and reduce its energy demand for steam production. The boost in
efficiency will help the company secure about 350 high-value jobs at the pulp
and paper complex.
    Ontario's Forest Sector Prosperity Fund and Loan Guarantee Program are
part of the McGuinty government's over $1-billion plan to help forest
companies invest in the future of their business and the prosperity of local
communities.

    QUOTES

    "Our government has the right plan to strengthen Ontario's forest
industry," said Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield
(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/About/2ColumnSubPage/226953.html). "We're pleased
to support the local economy, help secure good jobs in Thunder Bay and boost a
sector that directly benefits northern and rural communities which depend on
forestry as a way of life."
    "Our Thunder Bay pulp and paper facility continues on its journey towards
improved competitiveness as a result of this investment," said Doug Murray,
General Manager of Thunder Bay Operations for Abitibi-Bowater. "The Ontario
government's contribution helped us to move ahead with upgrades that will
boost process and energy efficiency in this facility."

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -   The McGuinty government has committed over $1 billion in various
        programs over five years to increase the competitiveness of Ontario's
        forest industry.
    -   More than $390 million in new forest sector investment has been
        announced and about 4,900 jobs have been created or saved.

    LEARN MORE

    -   Find out more about Ontario's forests (ontario.ca/forests).
    -   Learn more about Forest Sector Competitiveness programs
        (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=e8066c232164a49)

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                                                      Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
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                 UPGRADE PULP AND PAPER MILL IN THUNDER BAY

    The grant of $1.16 million for Abitibi-Bowater's pulp and paper mill in
Thunder Bay is part of over $100 million the Ontario government has announced
in support of 21 projects under the Prosperity Fund and Loan Guarantee
Program, generating over $390 million in new forest sector investment.

    The most recent announced offers include:
    -   A $1.56 million grant and a loan guarantee of $2.4 million to
        Greenview Wood Products towards a $12.3-million project to restart a
        sawmill and set up a cogeneration operation in Harcourt
    -   A grant of $300,000 to Columbia Forest Products towards an investment
        of about $3 million in new equipment for its Hearst plywood mill
    -   A conditional loan guarantee of $5 million - plus a grant of $700,000
        - to Haavaldsrud towards the installation of a new $7-million saw
        line at its Hornepayne facility
    -   A grant of $320,000 to Niska North to support the establishment of a
        cedar sawmill in Chapleau
    

    Forest Sector Prosperity

    The McGuinty government is investing more than $1 billion over five years
through various programs to increase the competitiveness of Ontario's forest
industry. Since June 2005, these programs have been stimulating new forest
sector investments in value-added manufacturing and co-generation, helping the
industry reposition itself in the global marketplace.

    
    The Ontario government's investments include:
    -   $350 million in loan guarantees to stimulate new investment in value-
        added manufacturing, energy conservation and energy co-generation
    -   $150 million over three years in conditional grants to support new
        capital investments
    -   $140 million in electricity rebates for Northern pulp and paper mills
    -   $75 million annually for the construction and maintenance costs of
        primary and secondary forest access roads
    -   $70 million in a one-time stumpage fee refund in 2005/06
    -   $10 million per year to enhance the Forest Resource Inventory
    -   $3 million a year from 2006 to 2008 to reduce timber fees for poplar
        veneer and white birch
    -   $1 million per year in an Ontario Wood Promotion program to enhance
        value-added manufacturing.

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    Bill Kissick,                          ontario.ca/natural-resources-news
    Forest Sector                                     Disponible en français
    Competitiveness Secretariat
    705-945-6767
    





For further information:

For further information: Ivan Langrish, Minister's Office, (416)
314-2212; Barry Radford, Communications Services Branch, (416) 314-2123

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Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

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