The Government of Canada's Budget 2016 was well-received by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), who recognized the plan's emphasis on climate change initiatives, innovation, research and development as solid steps in the right direction.
The Budget earmarked a total of $1 billion over a four year period to support clean technology for the forest and resource industries. Another $2 billion over two years was committed to a Low Carbon Economy Fund, and an additional $40 million was designated to integrate climate resilient changes to building codes.
"Canada's forest products industry is innovating and positioning ourselves to be part of the solution to climate change," Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC said. "We are producing an array of new innovative bio-products that can replace materials made from carbon-intensive fossil fuels. FPAC looks forward to working with Canada's forest product companies and the federal government to pave the way to a robust and low carbon economy," he added.
FPAC was an involved participant in the 2015 pre-budget consultations leading up to the most recent Budget plan. The organization provided three recommendations as part of the consultations that support its Vision2020 objectives. It recommended the federal government deepen its support for the forest products industry's innovation agenda, in particular as it relates to the Investments in Forestry Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, FPInnovations, academic engagement and the bioeconomy, that it promote the industry in domestic and international markets, and that it support the industry's manufacturing base as it moves towards new products, processes and diversified market applications. In response to the 2016 Budget, FPAC's Nighbor commended the government's emphasis on innovation. "Certainly our sector wants to work with government and be an important part of the clean technology and innovation conversation," he said. "We also applaud the emphasis on the new Innovation Agenda outlined in this budget."
The Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, said forestry is a good example of a sector where the government has a proactive role to play in facilitating the industry's move to a cleaner economy and the development and protection of good jobs in rural areas of the country.