SAINT-LOUIS-DE-BLANDFORD, QUEBEC- - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, today announced the granting of financial assistance to Scierie Blondeau Inc. for the acquisition of specialized equipment that will enable the enterprise to improve its competitiveness.

"The Government of Canada is doing everything it can to support the communities and workers affected by the crisis in the forest sector. This project being carried out by Scierie Blondeau deserves our assistance because it will help create jobs in the Centre-du-Québec region," said Minister Lebel.

Founded in 1974, Scierie Blondeau Inc. specializes in primary wood processing. The new equipment will allow the sawmill to diversify its operations and begin manufacturing such value-added products as exterior siding, form lumber and treated timber for the secondary wood processing sector.

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This $360,000 in repayable funding has been granted through the Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies (TISQFE).

About the TISQFE

The Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies was brought into force in June 2010 to help communities affected by the forestry crisis diversify their economies in order to ensure their growth and create and maintain employment. The initiative's goal is also to support small and medium-sized businesses in these communities in their efforts to secure their sustainable development.

Last July 14, the Government of Canada announced its intention to allocate a further $20 million in funding over two years to support the Quebec silvicultural sector for the years 2011 and 2012.

This measure is one of several put in place by the Government of Canada in the past months to counteract the effects of the forest crisis. Others include, for example, the Community Adjustment Fund, with its $1 billion budget over two years to mitigate the impacts of the crisis, the $1 billion granted to the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program to help enterprises carry out environmentally-friendly projects and the $230 million invested, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, for silvicultural work and the restoration of bridges and culverts on multi-use forest roads. Workers have also received their fair share of support, with the Government of Canada introducing some of the most generous measures in history to help them through the economic crisis.

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