OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes the additional support for innovation and market development unveiled in today's budget and also applauds the government's focus on skills training.
The "Jobs, Growth and Prosperity" budget from the Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, includes an additional $92 million over two years to support innovation and expanding markets. "We applaud the government for its continuing support for the forest products sector even at a time when tough measures are needed to reduce the deficit." says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "This is a strategic future-oriented decision that demonstrates ongoing commitment to the transformation of the industry."
FPAC has unveiled Vision2020, an ambitious plan to propel the sector forward in the areas of products, environmental performance and people. The support for innovation, research and market development will help the industry reach its goal of producing another $20 billion in economic activity in new markets and innovative new products by the end of the decade.
The Canada Job Grant proposal aimed at increasing the pool of skilled labour in Canada will also help the forest sector with another Vision2020 goal ― the desire to recruit an additional 60,000 people by 2020 including women, Aboriginals and new Canadians.
"The forest products industry is on the move and needs to recruit tens of thousands of new workers to reach our potential in the 21st century and spur growth." says Lindsay. "We are pleased that the government is recognizing the growing competition for labour."
Lindsay notes that other budget items will help the transformation of the forest products industry and the quest to produce new jobs and shore up rural communities. This includes tax support for clean energy generation and the extension of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.
SOURCE FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA