"This Government continues to invest in the transformation of Canada's forest industry," said Minister Day. "This program will encourage and support the next generation of forest products, and I am confident that this will have a very positive impact in communities across Canada, including here in British Columbia."
The purpose of the IFIT program, which was first introduced in Canada's Jobs and Growth Budget 2010, is to demonstrate and deploy new and advanced technologies in the forest sector through investments in innovative processes. The goal is to encourage the development of a wider range of innovative technologies, which would help secure a more prosperous future for Canada's forestry industry and the communities who depend on it. Forest sector companies that have existing facilities in Canada, including those that have been recently affected by the global economic downturn, could be eligible for IFIT support.
The IFIT program will complement previous and ongoing investments by the Government of Canada such as Sustainable Development Technology Canada's Clean Technology Fund.
As part of its continued support for Canada's forest sector, the Government of Canada is investing $170 million over two years under Canada's Economic Action Plan to help forest companies develop new products and processes and capitalize on new market opportunities internationally. As well, the $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program is helping qualified pulp and paper mills improve their environmental performance. Participating mills will become leaders in energy efficiency or the production of renewable energy as they create and sustain jobs in their industry.
This program is consistent with Canada's international trade obligations, including the Softwood Lumber Agreement. Any costs associated with the production or export of softwood lumber products are not eligible under the IFIT program.
Today's announcement opens the first call for proposals under the IFIT program. Individuals interested in learning how to apply for funding under the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program are encouraged to visit: forest-transformation.nrcan.gc.ca.