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Federal budget supports forest industry research; gets mixed reviews


March 22, 2011
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The Forest Products Industry Association and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) have voiced widely differing views on the federal budget outlined by the Conservatives on Mar. 22.

The Forest Products Industry Association and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) have voiced widely differing views on the federal budget outlined by the Conservatives on Mar. 22.

FPAC welcomed the forest industry measures contained in the federal budget. “The measures provided in today’s budget recognize the significant opportunity before the industry to expand its markets and products beyond lumber, pulp and paper. These measures will promote strategic investments that will support the industry as it emerges from the recent economic downturn,” said Avrim Lazar, president and CEO of FPAC.

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But CEP says the budget does nothing to help the victims of Canada’s “shattered economy.”

“Hundreds of thousands of workers in forestry and other industries have lost their jobs and seen their pensions crumble, and this was an opportunity for the government to repair some of that damage,” said Dave Coles, CEP president.

Coles also pointed out that the budget allocation of $60 million for research “is of no immediate assistance for unemployed forest workers and communities which remain deep in recession.”

FPAC applauds the investment in research, saying the budget reflects the government’s appreciation of the need to partner with industry on developing new products and approaches through research and development. The budget will extend funding to FPInnovation’s Transformative Technologies Program.

In addition, FPAC is encouraged by the budget’s two year extension of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance and the commitment to continue with the business tax reductions provided for by the 2007 budget. These are very important initiatives that will encourage increased capital investment in Canadian mills and the Canadian economy more broadly, according to the association.

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally.

CEP represents 120,000 Canadian workers in several sectors, including forestry, energy, telecommunications, media and construction.


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