In the 2012 budget unveiled last week in Ottawa, Canada’s federal government detailed plans to continue support for forestry innovation projects across the country.
The budget earmarked $105 million over two years for market development and forestry innovation – an effort applauded by groups such as FPInnovations and the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC).
“The 2012 federal budget renews a partnership that has delivered value and is building the future of forestry in Canada,” Al Ward, chair of FPInnovations, and president and chief operating officer of Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. told Pulp and Paper Canada. “The budget will help deliver on a strong, competitive and diversified forest sector in Canada. That is good news for high value jobs and good news for hard hit forestry communities across the country.”
Diversity is the key to sustaining the struggling sector said Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO of FPInnovations.
“[This] budget will allow us to continue to pioneer new products such as bio-materials and bio-composites and next generation building systems for multi-storey buildings,” he said.
Canadian forestry groups also commended the Conservative government for spending money to help transform the sector in a time where reducing the deficit is a primary focus.
“Maintaining this strategic support at a time of deficit reduction will certainly continue to promote jobs and growth in the forest sector,” said Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC.
Lazar also noted that other budget items – such as the support for early movers who adopt new technology; the extended provision of the domestic lending authority by Export Development Canada; and the expansion of the eligibility of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for clean energy generation equipment to include a broader range of bioenergy equipment – will be helpful to the transformation of the forest products industry.