News Release - Association of BC Forest Professionals
2007/12 (a) BACKGROUNDER forest Industry Long-Term Competitiveness Initiative The forest Industry Long-Term Competitiveness Initiative will help ensure the continued competitiveness of the Canadian forest industry in the global marketplace. The Government of Canada will provide $127.5 million over two years to the Canadian forest industry for the following measures: • promoting the forest sector innovation and investment that is needed to position the sector for the future ($70 million); • expanding market opportunities for Canadian wood-product producers ($40 million); • the development of a national forest pest strategy in consultation with provinces and territories, industry, communities and First Nations ($12.5 million); and • a Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) forest sector Council to identify and address sectoral skills and adjustment issues ($5 million). The forest industry is currently facing many challenges: increases in costs, appreciation of the Canadian dollar, growth in offshore competition and constraints to the fibre supply. The competitiveness initiative has the following objectives to address these challenges. Promoting Innovation and Investment The competitiveness initiative will enhance economic opportunities for Canada’s forest sector through increased investments in innovation. This goal will be facilitated through the consolidation of Canada’s forest research institutes, creating the largest forest research institute in the world. This initiative includes the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre. • Institute Consolidation and Investments in Innovation: Canada’s three national forest research institutes (the forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada, Forintek Canada Corp., and the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada) will be merged to form FPInnovations. The consolidation of these institutes will support the development of the next generation of innovative products and
processes needed for Canada’s future competitiveness. Investment will be directed toward the development and adaptation of emerging and breakthrough technologies. • Canadian Wood Fibre Centre: The Canadian Wood Fibre Centre will focus on improving forest productivity and increasing the value of Canada’s wood fibre resources. Expanding Market Opportunities The competitiveness initiative will facilitate growth of offshore wood product markets, expand wood use in the North American nonresidential construction market and promote value-added manufacturing. • Canada Wood Program: This program will focus on growing offshore markets for Canadian wood products. • North American Wood First Initiative: This program will support initiatives to develop the North American non-residential construction market. • Value to Wood Program: This program will improve the productivity and competitiveness of Canada’s value-added wood sector through technology development and technology transfer. Developing a National forest Pest Strategy An investment made by the Government of Canada will allow for the development of a national forest pest strategy in consultation with provinces and territories, industry, communities and First Nations to protect the forest resource from the increasing threat of forest pests and to mitigate their impact on industry competitiveness, for the benefit of all Canadians. HRSDC forest sector Council Rounding out the initiative is an investment for an HRSDC forest sector Council to identify and address sectoral skills and adjustment issues.