Forestry sector pleased
In the budget tabled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, he earmarked: $1.8 billion to support clean technology – to develop environmentally friendly products in bio-fuels and bio-materials; $40 million over 4 years – starting next year – to support an increase in the use of wood in buildings and infrastructure. Since wood stores carbon, this addresses climate change. $5 billion from the Canadian Infrastructure Bank to support improved trade and transportation corridors; $1.8 billion for youth employment, post-secondary education placements and Indigenous skills training and skills upgrading.
This budget made significant commitments to innovation. We now must work with the government on specifics to ensure that our sector is able to capitalize on these investments. We are not immune to negative economic impacts of trade from south of the border.
The $65-billion-a-year forest industry represents 2% of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers in over 200 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and 1 million indirect jobs across the country.
Richard Walker and Steph Troughton
Forest Products Association of Canada