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FPAC submits report to feds on ways to support the forest sector


December 10, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has submitted a new report to the federal government outlining how the forest products sector can contribute to the country’s recovery from COVID-19.

The 24-page report, titled “Innovative, Sustainable, Resilient: Recommendations from Canada’s Forest Sector to Drive Economic Recovery and a Net-Zero Carbon Future,” serves as a backgrounder to the industry’s work in job creation, inclusion and diversity, the bioeconomy and mass timber, reducing land-based emissions, and sustainable forest management.

FPAC has identified over 140 capital projects in the forest sector worth more than $1.5 billion that are ready to receive investment.

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The report recognizes the work of a number of forest sector initiatives, including the Outland Youth Employment Program, the #TakeYourPlace campaign and the industry’s role in the Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector National Action Plan, the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy, and the FPAC 30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge program, among others.

“Last week’s announcement that the federal deficit is projected to hit $382 billion by March 2021 is a stark reminder of how daunting the recovery effort will be,” says Derek Nighbor, FPAC president and CEO, in a statement.

“We need to come together with solutions that will meet the needs of Canadian workers and their families and deliver jobs to communities that need them, while promoting innovation and our move to a lower-carbon economy.”

Among the solutions suggested in the report are the expansion of the Canadian Forest Service’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative to increase funding for Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities and businesses, additional support for the Greenest Workforce program to connect recent graduates to the forest sector, and federal backing for forest-based bioproducts projects that can help with PPE manufacturing.

FPAC also calls on the government for assistance in implementing the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers’ (CCFM) Forest Bio-economy Framework, which was developed in 2018.

“Working in partnership with the federal government, Canada’s forest sector can protect jobs and create new ones, grow new markets, keep communities safer from fire, and lead our move to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050,” says Nighbor.

Read the full report here.