Parliamentary Secretary Kelly Block, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, has announced an investment of $20.6 million in forest sector innovation to help create and protect jobs for Canadians.
"Our Government's support for forest industry innovation is helping create jobs and growth across Canada," said Block. "This investment supports the development and commercialization of technologies that will enhance competitiveness and prosperity in Canada's forest industry."
This new support is part of Canada's comprehensive strategy for enhancing innovation and competitiveness in Canada's forest industry. The Parliamentary Secretary made the announcement during her keynote address at the annual convention of the Ontario Forest Industries Association in Toronto.
The funding will support 2015–2016 research by FPInnovations — Canada's national, industry-led forest research organization — to help develop leading-edge technologies, processes and products in Canada's forest industry.
FPInnovations has been an important collaborator in the ongoing transformation and renewal of Canada's forest sector and has undertaken research and helped to develop and commercialize innovative new forest products and technologies.
Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested $1.8 billion in support of Canada's forest sector, including the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, helping to bring innovative forest products and technologies into the marketplace. Canada's forest sector contributed $19.8 billion to our gross domestic product in 2013, directly employing an estimated 209,000 workers in all regions of the country.
The Government of Canada, through Economic Action Plan 2014, committed $90.4 million over four years to extend the IFIT program. As a result of this investment, IFIT will continue its work of helping to commercialize and implement advanced technologies in the forest sector.