"Today's announcement makes it clear that the Canadian government understands that jobs in the forest industry can only be secured through transformation and that they are ready to play their part," said Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC. "The Canadian forest products industry has radically altered its business strategy to emerge from the economic downturn as an engine of growth. Our focus has been on finding solutions and meeting market demand for superior environmentally-sustainable products that maximize product value, and minimize environmental impacts, while securing jobs in rural communities across Canada."
The purpose of the IFIT program is to demonstrate and deploy new and advanced technologies in the forest sector through investments in innovative processes that are integrated with forest operations. Implementation of these technologies will increase the rate of adoption throughout the sector and help to move the forest industry toward an economic foundation based on a more diversified portfolio of products and markets, key factors in establishing the prosperity of the sector. Forest sector companies that have existing facilities in Canada, including those that have been recently shut down, could be eligible for IFIT support.
The Forest Products Association of Canada (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.
FPAC's member companies adhere to five principles of sustainability:
- Harvest legally
- Regenerate promptly
- Reduce waste, support recovery and recycling
- Reduce greenhouse gases and help fight climate change
- Welcome independent scrutiny of forest management practices