Canada’s forestry sector finds opportunities in the federal budget

On March 22nd, Wednesday, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the federal budget for the year, and indicated that the nation’s forestry sector would have a large role in it.

CAD$1.8 billion (US$1.34 billion) would be allocated to bolster clean, environmentally-friendly technology aimed at reducing Canada’s carbon footprint, and where the forest products sector plays a major role.

To back projects that boost the utilisation of timber in buildings and infrastructure while also endorsing sustainably-sourced Canadian wood, CAD$40 million (US$29.8 million) has been set aside. As wood collects carbon, the use of timber also tackles the issue of climate change.

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank will be providing CAD$5 billion (US$3.73 billion) to further develop and support trade and transportation passages, a crucial area as the forestry sector is heavily reliant on stable and dependable infrastructure for transportation and exports.

Lastly, CAD$1.8 billion (US$1.34 billion) will be provided to bolster employment and further develop skills amongst Canada’s youth.

“Today’s budget made significant commitments to innovation. We must now work with the federal government on specifics to ensure that our sector is able to capitalise on these investments,” Derek Nighborm CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), said. “We must be clear. Like many other business sectors in Canada, we are not immune to the potentioal negative economic impacts of trade uncertainty south of the border. We need a strong continued partnership with the federal government to ensure we can remain competitive and continue to employ over 230,000 Canadians living in over 200 rural and northern communities across the country.”

Source: Forest Products Association of Canada