FREDERICTON, NB, Sept. 6, 2011 (RISI) -The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced investments totalling $6.1 million to benefit the regional economy and advance transformation in New Brunswick's forest industry.
"Today's announcements highlight key investments in the transformation of the forest industry and reconfirm that our Government's top priority remains the economy," said Minister Oliver. "With the economic recovery still fragile, we will continue to take action to protect and create jobs in Canada, including the important forestry jobs right here in New Brunswick."
"With these investments our Government is continuing to implement our plan that supports innovative change in New Brunswick's forest sector," said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister for Fisheries and Oceans and Regional Minister for New Brunswick. "Our investments are reducing the environmental footprint and improving the competitiveness of our forest products industry by helping mills to take advantage of opportunities in the clean energy economy."
Two pulp and paper mills in New Brunswick received funding for three projects through the $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. The improved environmental performance of these mills will benefit the communities of Nackawic and Edmundston as these projects reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy.
"This is the second project approved for AV Nackawic under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program," said Mr. Mike Allen, Member of Parliament for Tobique-Mactaquac. "I am pleased that our Government responded to the needs of this industry by developing a program that encourages pulp and paper mills to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations. This is the best way to help secure the long term economic future of these facilities and the resulting employment."
"The Twin Rivers mill in Edmundston plays a critical role in the continued economic health of our community," said the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "I am pleased that our Government will assist this mill to become more efficient. It is one more step in ensuring its long-term viability. Announcements such as this will help us sustain our economic recovery and generate prosperity in our regions."
Combined, these projects are expected to generate enough renewable energy annually to heat more than 280 homes, while saving enough energy to heat an additional 1,100 homes. The greenhouse gas emissions of these mills will be reduced by nearly 2,800 tonnes annually - equivalent to the emissions produced by nearly 760 cars.
Today's investments build on the ongoing success of federal forest sector programs, such as the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, which recently announced its second Call for Proposals. Continued support for broader forest sector transformation was provided inThe Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan, which provides $60 million over one year to renew programs that focus on forest sector innovation and market development including a $25.5-million investment that was recently announced for the Transformative Technologies Research Program.
For more information, visit canadaforests.nrcan.gc.ca.