Canada’s Forest Sector Responds to 2024 Federal Budget

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April 16, 2024 - Earlier today, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) President and CEO Derek Nighbor released the following statement in response to the 2024 Federal Budget tabled by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland.

“FPAC took note in Budget 2024 of the government’s recognition of how Canadian forest sector workers and communities can grow the economy, address affordable housing needs, and help mitigate the risk of more catastrophic fires across the country.

We welcome the over $16 billion towards home construction, including a $50 million carveout to fund the uptake of innovative building techniques like prefabricated and modular housing and mass-timber construction.

Other measures on housing, including the Modernized Housing Design Catalogue and $150 million to bolster our skilled workforce and support foreign credential recognition will help make forest-based housing solutions easier to implement and more accessible to Canadian families – while we use homegrown Canadian wood products to make it happen.

The $265 million offered to support wildfire prevention will help – but to keep people, communities, and critical infrastructure safer from fire, more must be done in collaboration with provinces, municipalities, and Indigenous Peoples to support more active management of our forests – similar to investments and approaches we are seeing in the United States and Europe.

This means investments to support the thinning of fire-prone stands, doing more prescribed burns, getting more dead and decaying wood out of the forest, creating more fire breaks around communities, and seizing forest biomass and bioenergy opportunities in the north.

We know that healthy and resilient forests are critical to a strong and lower carbon Canadian economy – and they can also help us avoid future record-breaking carbon emissions from fires.

FPAC looks forward to working with the government on these initiatives and other measures to improve Canadian competitiveness, investment in Canada, and job growth. Implementation of Investment Tax Credits to counter U.S. Inflation Reduction Act incentives south of the border and the establishment of a forest bioeconomy action plan remain top priorities for our sector and its workforce.”

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, paper, and wood-based bioproducts producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $73B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in hundreds communities, providing 205,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country. Our members are committed to collaborating with Indigenous leaders, government bodies, and other key stakeholders to develop a cross-Canada action plan aimed at advancing forest health, while supporting workers, communities and our environment for the long term.