The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has issued a statement in response to the 2024 Federal Budget presented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland. FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor expressed his thoughts on the budget, highlighting its recognition of the Canadian forest sector’s potential to contribute to economic growth, address affordable housing needs, and mitigate the risk of wildfires.

Support for Home Construction and Innovative Building Techniques

“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.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland

FPAC welcomes the allocation of over $16 billion towards home construction in the budget. Of particular interest is the $50 million set aside to promote the adoption of innovative building techniques, such as prefabricated and modular housing, as well as mass-timber construction.

These measures aim to make forest-based housing solutions more accessible to Canadian families, utilizing homegrown Canadian wood products.

Forest Products Association of Canada Responds to 2024 Federal Budget

Advancements in Housing Design and Skilled Workforce

The Modernized Housing Design Catalogue, included in the budget, is expected to facilitate the implementation of forest-based housing solutions.

Additionally, the allocation of $150 million to support the skilled workforce and assist with foreign credential recognition will further enhance the accessibility of these housing solutions to Canadian families.

Wildfire Prevention and Forest Management

The budget includes $265 million to support wildfire prevention efforts. While FPAC acknowledges the significance of this allocation, they emphasize the need for collaboration with provinces, municipalities, and Indigenous Peoples to implement more active forest management strategies.

FPAC points to successful investments and approaches in the United States and Europe as examples to follow. These strategies include thinning fire-prone stands, conducting prescribed burns, removing dead and decaying wood from forests, creating fire breaks around communities, and exploring forest biomass and bioenergy opportunities in the north.

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Importance of Healthy and Resilient Forests

FPAC recognizes the vital role of healthy and resilient forests in building a strong and low-carbon Canadian economy. They emphasize that investing in forest management can help prevent future record-breaking carbon emissions caused by wildfires.

Collaboration and Priorities

FPAC expresses its commitment to working with the government on these initiatives and other measures aimed at improving Canadian competitiveness, attracting investment, and promoting job growth. They emphasize the importance of implementing Investment Tax Credits to counteract incentives provided by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and the establishment of a forest bioeconomy action plan as top priorities for the sector and its workforce.

FPAC serves as the voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, paper, and wood-based bioproducts producers in government, trade, and environmental affairs. With annual revenues exceeding $73 billion, the forest products sector is one of Canada’s largest employers, providing 205,000 direct jobs and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.

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