Government Investment in Forest Products Industry Continues to Pay Dividends

OTTAWA, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - At the onset of the International Year of the Forest, the Forest Products Association of Canada is seeing positive results from the landmark $1 billion Paper and Paper Green Transformation Program introduced by the federal government in 2009.

"The investments from the program such as the five announced today serve as an excellent example of smart policy and smart spending. It demonstrates a strong understanding of the transformation now taking place in Canada's forest products industry." says the President and CEO of FPAC, Avrim Lazar.  "The funds are helping the forest products industry become more energy and cost efficient as well as retaining jobs and supporting Canada's rural economy in the long term."

Canada's pulp and paper industry, hard hit by the recent recession, has been working hard to retool itself and gain a competitive edge as a "green supplier". Mills have dramatically reduced their usage of fossil fuels and FPAC members are working toward the ambitious goal of using 100% renewable energy in all their operations.

"We truly appreciate how this program is helping the sector enhance its economic competitiveness as a green leader in the marketplace." says Lazar.  "Forest product companies have been able to make necessary capital improvements to better prepare for a return to profitability.  It is helping ensure that Canada's pulp and paper industry remains one of the most successful in the world."

Lazar says this is a good example of industry and government continuing to work together. "I look forward to working with the government in the future on similar programs to help Canadian mills transform and meet the growing demand for green energy and green products in a world aggressively moving in this direction," he says.

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $54-billion-a-year forest products industry represents almost 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs across the country. All FPAC members are signatory to the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.

SOURCE FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

For further information:

Media Contact:
Susan Murray
Executive Director, Public Relations
Forest Products Association of Canada
Association des produits forestiers du Canada
smurray@fpac.ca
613-563-1441 x313

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