CIF-IFC welcomes 2023 federal budget’s commitment to supporting Canadian forests
April 6, 2023 By Canadian Institute of Forestry
The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (CIF-IFC) is pleased the federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Canada’s forests in the 2023 budget, A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future, that was recently released on March 28, 2023.
“Forests provide many cultural, societal, environmental, and economical benefits across Canada,” mentioned Mark Pearson, CIF-IFC executive director. “Sustainable forest practices supported by a diverse and inclusive forest sector strengthen Canada’s efforts to build a resilient economy that benefits Canadians from all walks of life.”
The 2023 federal budget commits $368.4 million over a three-year period for a wide range of forestry initiatives, which will support jobs across Canada, including in rural and remote communities. This includes strengthening Indigenous leadership in the forest sector, forestry research and development, data, low-carbon building projects as well as the export of sustainably sourced Canadian forest products, a critical piece of the lower carbon economy. The budget also commits to exploring opportunities to expand the use of biofuels in Canada, including forest biomass, acknowledging the climate benefits of utilizing stranded wood fibre and wood waste.
In order to achieve the forest and forestry commitments outlined in the budget, collaboration and partnership with all stakeholders will be paramount. This includes provinces, territories, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous communities, municipalities, and others.
“Through the CIF-IFC’s well-established programs, partnerships, initiatives, and national representation, we have a long-standing history of successful project and program delivery,” stated Pearson.
Inspiring both the current and next generation of forest practitioners, the CIF-IFC provides a forum for knowledge exchange and competency training, along with outreach and education programs such as webinars, forestry tours, teaching kits, and more. The Institute is also proud to welcome and unite new forestry graduates through its Silver Ring Program.
Dedicated to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada’s forest sector, the CIF-IFC is also making transformational change through Free to Grow in Forestry — an initiative co-led by the CIF-IFC and the Centre for Social Intelligence, aiming to create a diverse and inclusive work force that provides the foundation for a thriving forest sector and healthy communities.
Although the investments outlined in the 2023 budget reaffirm the government’s confidence that forestry will continue to play a major role in developing the green and lower carbon economy, there are still many misconceptions about the Canadian forest sector that exist.
“As the voice of forest practitioners, we aim to set the record straight on Canada being a world leader in sustainable forestry,” noted Pearson. “We regularly publish pieces that advocate for sustainable forestry and dispel myths regarding Canadian forestry practices.”
The CIF-IFC was also pleased to see the emphasis the budget placed on supporting forest sector jobs in rural and remote communities. On March 21st, together with Collège Boréal, the Institute hosted a roundtable with 20 stakeholders representing 17 organizations across Canada to discuss and provide feedback on forest sector labour market needs, and in particular, implementing a forestry-centred action plant to address national and regional priorities.
Furthermore, this year’s National Forest Week theme, “Canada’s Forests: Supporting Biological Diversity”, aligns well with the federal government’s need to protect our biodiversity from pollution and development. The CIF-IFC is proud to be leading National Forest Week, taking place from Sept. 17-23, 2023, celebrating biological diversity and its importance in sustaining our ecosystems.
“With our network, connections, and organizational capacity, we offer our expertise and services to help fulfil the directions and goals outlined in the federal budget,” mentioned Pearson.
Formed in 1908, the CIF-IFC is the national voice of forest practitioners and many others with an interest in forestry and forests. The Institute strives to provide national leadership, promote competence, and foster public awareness of Canadian and international forestry/forest issues.
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