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Canada’s forest products industry welcomes government's 'forward-looking investments'

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Canada’s forest products industry welcomes government's 'forward-looking investments'

March 14, 2011 - 08:35
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OTTAWA, March 14, 2011 (CNW) -The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says the forest sector appreciates the strategic government investments that are continuing to help the industry become more energy and cost efficient.

This week the government announced that 11 mills will be receiving funds from two programs: the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Fund, (PPGT), and the Transformative Technologies Pilot Scale Demonstration Program.

"The investments from these programs serve as an excellent example of smart government spending. There is a broad transformation now underway in Canada's forest products industry and the federal government is helping us accelerate that change." says the President and CEO of FPAC, Avrim Lazar.

Canada's forest sector which was hard hit by the recent recession, has been working hard to retool itself and gain a competitive edge in global markets as a "green supplier". FPAC members are reducing their use of fossil fuels and companies are working hard to integrate new innovative bio-materials into their existing mills that will allow the industry to serve wider markets and take advantage of opportunities emerging in the 21st century bio-age.

"We truly appreciate how these programs are helping the forestry sector make the necessary capital improvements to enhance its economic competitiveness and green credentials and also transform itself into the next generation forest industry." says Lazar. "This support will allow us to diversify our business, further clean up our operations and create and sustain jobs in rural Canada. It will also help ensure that Canada's forest products industry remains one of the most successful in the world."

Lazar says the programs stand as good examples of a partnership between industry and government. "FPAC is committed to working with the government in the future on similar programs so that Canadian mills are in the forefront of meeting the growing demand for green energy and green products, in a world aggressively moving in this direction," he says.

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $54-billion-a-year forest products industry represents almost 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs across the country. All FPAC members are signatories to the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.