Federal government provides $80 million for forest product innovation
April 15, 2009 By Pulp & Paper Canada
As part of a $170-million aid package for the forest products sector, $80 million will be directed toward emerging …
As part of a $170-million aid package for the forest products sector, $80 million will be directed toward emerging technologies through the Transformative Technologies program administered by FPInnovations.
The announcement was made April 14 by Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt and Minister of Natural Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture) Jean-Pierre Blackburn in Quebec City.
“This investment is another solid step forward in helping the communities and workers who depend on the forest sector weather the current economic storm,” said Minister Blackburn. “By targeting the marketing and innovation side of our forest industries, our government is not only helping this sector during these current challenges, but we are also giving this sector a stronger foundation for the future.”
The forestry component of the Conservatives’ economic action plan also provides $40 million to programs that help forestry companies market innovative products internationally, $10 million to support demonstrations of Canadian wood in construction, and $40 million for pilot-scale demonstrations of new products.
Quebec’s forest industry association is disappointed with the Harper government’s efforts. Guy Chevrette, CEO of the Quebec Forest Industry Council (CIFQ) told a Quebec newspaper, Le Soleil, “It’s not money for marketing and research that we need in the short term. We need something that will save our businesses.”
CIFQ is requesting loan guarantees for the forestry industry, but the Conservatives’ position is that such an action would contravene the Softwood Lumber Agreement.
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