Speech from the Throne points in the right direction says forest products

OTTAWA, March 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today welcomed the government's invitation in the Speech from the Throne to "partner with the forest products industry to enter new markets and deploy new technologies".

"This is central to what we need to do," says Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC. "The pathway to prosperity for our industry and the 270,000 people it employs is through investment in clean technologies and the opening up of important new global markets for our world-class forest products."

"We are very encouraged by the Government's commitment to make Canada a "clean energy superpower and a leader in green job creation". Our industry is Canada's largest supplier of clean bio-energy and with the right government policies our clean energy output could be equivalent to that of nine nuclear reactors," says Lazar.

Today's Speech from the Throne, which promises to "combine the best of our intellectual and natural resources to create jobs, growth and opportunity," is a clear signal that the federal government understands and supports the new, green business model for the forest products industry FPAC announced last month - one that harnesses superior environmental performance and strengthens market advantage by integrating bio-products and bio-energy into forest product operations.

"We are eager to work with the Government to accelerate the transformation of our industry in order to support the Government's mandate to "create the conditions for continued success in the industries that are the foundation for Canada's prosperity". And while we support spending limits to tackle the deficit, they must be accompanied by a commitment to reallocate existing resources to areas where they will have the greatest impact," says Lazar.

It is clear by the approach the Government announced today that it appreciates the tremendous potential of the forest products industry to contribute to the economic health of our nation and recognizes the significant investments being made by other countries in the greening of their industrial base. As the Government stated today - "Canada must keep step as the world races forward".

"The Government has set a new course for the country coming out of a global recession that has at its heart the value of strategic partnerships with industry and investment in new, clean technologies. And in the spirit of this partnership, we will do our part to leverage Canada's unparalleled resource endowment to be successful in the next generation forest economy," says Lazar.

Forest Products Association of Canada

The Forest Products Association of Canada (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 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.

    FPAC's member companies adhere to five principles of sustainability:
    -   Harvest legally
    -   Regenerate promptly
    -   Reduce waste and promote recycling
    -   Reduce greenhouse gases and pursue carbon neutrality through the
        supply chain
    -   Welcome independent scrutiny of forest management practices

SOURCE Forest Products Association of Canada

For further information: For further information: Monica Bailey, Manager, Media Relations, Forest Products Association of Canada, (613) 563-1441 x323

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