OTTAWA, Nov. 3, 2016 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes the commitment of Transport Minister, Marc Garneau, to bring in concrete measures aimed at improving Canada's transportation system. Garneau outlined the government's "Transportation 2030" plans today in Montreal.
The Minister promised to introduce legislation in the spring of next year (2017) to address concerns about adequate service, with improved access and timelines to deal with complaints, and enhanced data for the benefit of those who use the transportation system.
"Transportation is a vital issue that impacts Canada's competitiveness and export performance, and lack of access to a reliable and efficient system has challenged the forest sector" says Derek Nighbor, the CEO of FPAC. "We are delighted that the government is now taking action that will help the forest products industry get its goods to market and support Canada's future growth and prosperity. We look forward to working with the government and our transportation partners on our shared interest of improving our transportation system."
The largely rural-based forest products industry is an export sector that has often faced bottlenecks and struggled to access reliable and effective transportation to get its goods to market in a timely manner. Transportation alone represents up to one-third of the production costs of any forest products firm.
FPAC is also pleased that the federal government is pledging to spend more than $10 billion dollars over the next 11 years to invest in trade and transportation projects to build a more efficient "transportation corridor" to move goods more quickly to international markets.
"The forest products industry is Canada's largest export sector to Asia including China and the country's fourth largest export sector overall. Last year we exported $33 billion to about 175 countries across the globe," says Nighbor. "That's why the government's decision to invest in trade-enhancing infrastructure as well as improving dispute settlement mechanisms and providing comprehensive data to make informed decisions is so important."
FPAC also applauds the government commitment to a lower carbon transportation system. This will help the forest sector reach the ambitious goals of its 30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge by removing 30 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year by 2030.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $65-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.
SOURCE Forest Products Association of Canada
For further information: Fiona McDonald, Communications Coordinator, Forest Products Association of Canada, [email protected] 613-563-1441 x 318