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Ontario redesigns forestry funding program to emphasize competitiveness


November 29, 2019
By P&PC Staff

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The Ontario government is redesigning one of its forestry support programs to support strategic projects that enhance competitiveness and innovation.

The new Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program (formerly the Forestry Growth Fund) will provide up to $10 million per year in funding over five years.

The program will put more emphasis on the impact a project can have on a region and on Ontario’s overall forest sector, while still considering key outcomes such as jobs, innovation, and productivity or product enhancements.

The objective of the program will be to support strategic projects that improve productivity and innovation, enhance competitiveness, support new market access, and strengthen supply chains and regional economies.

“The Ontario forest sector continues to innovate and adapt in a rapidly changing environment,” says Jamie Lim, chief executive officer of the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA), in a release. “OFIA is very supportive of a more efficient and accessible funding program that will incentivize investment, encourage integration and create jobs in all regions of the province. We are grateful for the commitment by the Ontario government to grow our sustainable and renewable sector.”

The province says it will soon launch a draft forest sector strategy that will aim to help industry innovate, attract new investment, and protect and create jobs.

Ontario’s forest sector supports about 155,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province and generates over $16.6 billion in revenue.