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Sun not setting in NB


August 28, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

There may be hope for New Brunswick’s forest industry, the province is being told, provided it can grow more trees.

There may be hope for New Brunswick’s forest industry, the province is being told, provided it can grow more trees.

According to a recent report by Canadian Press, two reports released this week, one on wood supply, the other on investment possibilities, offered the New Brunswick government a list of options designed to assist the province’s forestry sector before it succumbs to irreparable damage.

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The reports were requested by the New Brunswick government who called on researchers to assess whether or not the sun is in fact setting on it’s forestry industry.

According to Don Roberts of CIBC World Markets, and the author of the investment report, the industry is indeed suffering an acute crisis, but that opportunity is ripe for forward progress.

“I don’t mean to be flippant, but a crisis is a terrible thing to waste,” Canadian Press reported him as saying upon the release of the reports in Fredericton.

“You’ve suffered the pain, now use it as a reason to make some changes. You’re at a fork in the road, quite frankly. A lot of jurisdictions are.”

Roberts noted that challenges of draconian energy and wood prices are migrating to other areas of the world, subsequently reducing their competitive advantage. “This isn’t bad news for us, ” Canadian Press reported Roberts as saying. “It means we will see further closures in our competing regions, greater supply reductions, greater opportunities in a number of respects.”

However, CP further confirmed Roberts as cautioning that if the province wants to capitalize on the advantages of its forestry sector to foster greater wealth, it will simply have to grow more trees. “Depending on the level of wealth you want to create, I would suggest you want to grow more trees,” he said.

The other released report focused on methods designed to increase wood supply. A total of seven suggestions were highlighted and the Liberal government is expected to render a decision on which options it will pursue by the end of the year.


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