Union welcomes pact between forest industry and environmental groups

OTTAWA, May 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's major forest sector union has welcomed the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement between forest companies and Environmental NGOs.

"This agreement is a light of hope for a battered industry," said Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union President Dave Coles, "It is time now to make environmental leadership a value-added advantage for Canadian forest products."

Coles said the union does not expect that the deferral of 29 million hectares of boreal forests as a result of the agreement will affect jobs immediately, but positive market impacts from the agreement could help struggling Canadian forest companies in global markets.

Coles called on provincial governments to support the agreement with funding for the planning and scientific work that will be required to implement the agreement, and for federal funding for value-added investments to maximize jobs from sustainable harvesting.

"We are rebuilding this industry from the ground up and companies, workers and environmentalists are making difficult compromises. The missing players are the governments who are stewards of this resource and the federal government which has the ability to make value added and environmental transformations possible for the Canadian forest industry.

"We need to hear positive announcements from governments immediately to build on this achievement."

SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

For further information: For further information: Dave Coles, CEP President at (613) 299-5628

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