OTTAWA, March 22, 2017 /CNW/ - Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) sees some opportunities for Canada's forest products sector in today's federal budget.
In the budget tabled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau today, he earmarked:
- $1.8 billion to support clean technology. It is critical that the forest products sector is central to the government's clean tech strategy. These investments will help our sector develop environmentally friendly products in areas of bio-fuels and bio-materials while helping to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
- $40 million over 4 years – starting next year – to support projects to increase the use of wood in buildings and infrastructure. This is an important program to support the use of sustainably sourced Canadian wood and since wood stores carbon, this a great way to further address climate change.
- $5 billion from the Canadian Infrastructure Bank to support improved trade and transportation corridors. This is important as we are a sector heavily dependant on reliable transportation infrastructure and a strong export sector.
- $1.8 billion for programs to support youth employment, post-secondary education placements and Indigenous skills training; also includes measures to support skills upgrading. Ensuring we have the right workers with the right skills at the right time is key to future of our industry's success.
"Today's budget made significant commitments to innovation. We now must work with the federal government on specifics to ensure that our sector is able to capitalize on these investments," says Derek Nighbor, FPAC CEO. "We must be clear. Like many other business sectors in Canada, we are not immune to the potential negative economic impacts of trade uncertainty south of the border. We need a strong continued partnership with the federal government to ensure we can remain competitive and continue to employ over 230,000 Canadians living in over 200 rural and northern communities across the country."
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 per cent of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in over 200 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and 1 million indirect jobs across the country. The forest products sector is a world leader in sustainable forest management; we are a critical partner in the fight against climate change and have invested 1.5 billion dollars in clean technology in the last five years.
SOURCE Forest Products Association of Canada