PETIT-SAGUENAY, 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 that Coopérative de solidarité Valoribois has been granted financial assistance for the acquisition of manufacturing equipment to re-launch operations at the Petit-Saguenay sawmill.

"By lending its financial support to get the Petit-Saguenay sawmill back up and running, the Government of Canada is contributing toward job creation and the growth of the local economy," said Minister Lebel.

For operations to resume at the Petit-Saguenay sawmill, which shut down over two years ago, Coopérative de solidarité Valoribois first needed to acquire the plant and purchase a dryer. This new equipment will enable the solidarity cooperative to manufacture value-added products intended primarily for secondary and tertiary wood processing plants. The project, which grew out of the mobilization of local economic stakeholders, is expected to lead to the hiring of some 10 mill employees and another 30 or so forest workers in the region.

About the Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies (TISQFE)

This $150,000 in non-repayable funding has been awarded through Canada Economic Development's Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies (TISQFE). To this amount is added a $125,000 loan from the SADC du Fjord, a community futures development corporation funded by Canada Economic Development.

The TISQFE 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 secondary and tertiary wood processing projects in these communities.

This measure is one of several put in place by the Government of Canada to counteract the effects of the forest crisis. Others include the Community Adjustment Fund, with its $1-billion budget over two years to mitigate the impact 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 $238 million invested, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, for silvicultural work and the maintenance of 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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