OTTAWA, ONTARIO - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today made the following statement after the tabling of the 2012 State of Canada's Forests Report in the House of Commons by Parliamentary Secretary David Anderson. This report highlights the tangible results accomplished by the Government of Canada's support for the forest sector, helping increase energy efficiency, innovation and exports abroad.
"As the pages of this year's report demonstrate, the past year was a testament to the resilience of Canada's forest sector, the excellence of its products and the significance of its economic contribution.
"The fact that Canada's forest product exports have almost regained the peak value recorded in 2008 is a tribute to the creativity of the 234,000 Canadians who work in our forest industries. Their capacity to find new opportunities in the global marketplace through innovations and market diversification is driving renewal in Canada's forest sector.
"In fact, between 2007 and 2011, there has been a 1,000 percent increase in the value of Canadian softwood lumber exports to China. In B.C. alone, the equivalent of 20 mills are producing forest products for the Chinese market.
"The latest phase of our strategic support aims to improve on these milestones. Our Economic Action Plan 2012 includes a new targeted investment of $105 million dollars to help our forest sector further strengthen its competitiveness to increase the marketing of its products abroad.
"The sector's ongoing transformation is based on a strong partnership among industries, research organizations and governments. In 2011-2012, our Government helped foster innovation, continued to create opportunities abroad and defended Canada's interests with trading allies. For example, Canada's lumber exports to China have essentially doubled every year over the past five years, creating at least 5,000 jobs across Canada.
"Canada's forest sector has been investing heavily in reinventing itself and extracting more value from wood fibre by developing new innovative products. A number of exciting programs provided a catalyst for many first-in-Canada applications and innovative technologies.
"I'm also proud to report that today our pulp and paper mills are more innovative, diversified and competitive. Thanks to the largest forest industry initiative in our country's history, the $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program, mills have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10 percent and increased their renewable power by more than 200 megawatts.
"This phase of our support has provided funding for 98 projects in 38 communities across the country and supported more than 14,000 jobs. The report clearly shows that together we have achieved a great deal. And, through both long-established and new partnerships, we can expect to achieve even more as we continue building a more prosperous future for our forest sector and the communities across Canada that depend on it.
"Each year, the State of Canada's Forests Report provides an overview of Canada's forests and forest sector. It contains the latest statistics accompanied by expert trend summaries, demonstrating Canada's transparency in reporting on forest management.
"For more information about Canada's forests and forest sector, please read the report online at www.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca."
Source: Natural Resources Canada
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.