Budget Measures will help Attract Capital Investment, Enhance Competitiveness of Canada's Manufacturing Sector and Keep Jobs in Canada, Says Forest Products Industry

    OTTAWA, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) today welcomed initiatives in today's Federal Budget that will enhance
the competitiveness of Canada's manufacturing sector through an accelerated
Capital Cost Allowance (CCA).
    "The Government has sent a strong signal that it understands the need to
encourage investment and innovation to keep jobs in Canada," said Avrim Lazar,
President and CEO of FPAC. "New intense global competition has had
demonstrable effects on Canada's forest products industry where nearly
16,000 jobs have been lost in the past two years as the industry has
rationalized and reduced overcapacity. The story is repeated throughout
Canada's manufacturing sector, which has lost tens of thousands of jobs in the
past year alone."
    Canada's forest products industry has faced a series of unprecedented
market challenges over the last few years. It is the most exposed of any
Canadian industry to a high Canadian dollar and rapidly rising energy costs,
and has faced changing markets and emerging global competition. The industry
has responded to these challenges by adjusting quickly in cutting costs,
investing in productivity enhancements, and looking for new market
opportunities. Like all Canadian manufacturers, the industry has had to make
far-reaching and sometimes difficult changes to renew itself and improve its
competitiveness in a very challenging environment.
    "A competitive business climate that attracts capital investment is
absolutely essential to the future of this and other Canadian manufacturers,"
continued Lazar. "Perhaps the single most important economic policy lever to
improve the business climate or 'hosting conditions' is the tax system. The
changes to the CCA announced today will enable manufacturers across Canada to
respond to the higher value of the Canadian dollar and other challenges by
encouraging investment in capital renewal and innovation. This is good news
for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who work in the manufacturing
sector and the hundreds of communities across the country in which they live."

    FPAC is the voice of Canada's wood, pulp and paper producers nationally
and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada's
forest industry represents 3% of Canada's GDP and exports over $40 billion of
wood, pulp and paper annually. The industry is one of Canada's largest
employers, operating in hundreds of Canadian communities and providing nearly
900,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country.

For further information:

For further information: contact: Isabelle Des Chênes, Director,
Communications, Forest Products Association of Canada, (613) 563-1441, ext:
323, ideschenes@fpac.ca

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