Feds commit over $250M to Canada’s forest sector in 2019 budget
By P&PC Staff
By P&PC Staff
March 20, 2019 – The federal government announced more than $250 million in funding to boost skills development and innovation in the forest products sector in its budget this week.
The investment includes $91.8 million over three years for the Forest Innovation Program, to support pre-commercial research and development in the bioeconomy, and $82.9 million over three years for the Forest Industry Transformation program, to support the industrial commercialization and adoption of innovative technologies and processes, contributing to clean economic growth and jobs.
Another $64 million over three years was allocated for the Expanding Market Opportunities Program, to increase and diversify market opportunities for Canadian forest products in offshore markets, and expand wood use in non-residential and mid-rise construction, including within Canada.
The funding also includes $12.6 million over three years for the Indigenous Forestry Initiative, to support forest-based economic development for Indigenous communities across Canada.
In a release, The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says it applauds the move.
“Today the government signaled that it recognizes and supports the transformation taking place in Canada’s forestry communities,” says Derek Nighbor, president and CEO of FPAC.
“Substantial investments dedicated to accelerating research and development, improving market access, and advancing product innovations demonstrate that the government understands where our industry is heading,” he says. “We look forward to continuing our work with the federal government on these priorities for forestry workers and their families across Canada.”
More than 230,000 Canadians work in the forest products sector.