OTTAWA — Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) sees some encouraging opportunities for Canada’s forest products sector in the federal budget including measures to support our transition to a low carbon economy, skills training, and expanding trade.

In the budget tabled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau entitled “Equality & Growth a Strong Middle Class”, he earmarked:

  • Over $2 billion to support skills training to help build a workforce for the future
  • Commitment to protect and expand markets
  • Over $3 billion for environmental initiatives to help address climate change, support conservation and move to a low-carbon economy

“Budget 2018 sends some positive signals that support the forest sector’s priorities, with investments to build capacity to address climate change, skills training to build a workforce for the future, and supports the further diversification of our export markets,” said FPAC CEO Derek Nighbor. “We are ready to work with the federal government and our community partners on the specifics to ensure we can continue to support good-paying jobs in over 600 rural and northern communities across the country.”

“We are focused on building a skilled and highly-trained workforce for the future,” Nighbor said. “The forest sector looks forward to working with the Trudeau government in support of their training and skills development agenda for Indigenous Peoples, and women so we can secure the skilled workforce we need for tomorrow. Having said that, beyond our skilled workforce needs, our future success also depends on a competitive tax regime, an efficient and predictable regulatory framework, a reliable energy supply, and reliable transportation infrastructure and networks to get our products to market.”

“FPAC is ready to work with the federal government, Indigenous communities, municipalities, and partners across the country so the government’s commitment to conservation supports positive environmental and economic outcomes for rural and northern Canada. We encourage the federal government to continue to support evidence-based decision making, sound science, and local and traditional knowledge that informs and considers the benefits and impact of conservation decisions,” added Nighbor. “This will also complement our efforts as we transition to a low-carbon economy by removing 30 megatonnes (MT) of CO2 per year by 2030 and will position our sector to deliver on 13 per cent of the federal government’s commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement.”