Feds contribute $4.7M to Cree Forestry Project in Quebec
November 28, 2022 By CFI Staff and Natural Resources Canada
The Government of Canada has announced a $4.7-million federal investment to support the upgrade and restart of the Cree Forestry Project in Waswanipi, Quebec.
This is a unique partnership between Mishtuk Corporation and Chantiers Chibougamau, a private firm in the region that operates forestry products facilities.
The funding will support business and partnership planning for a more economically sustainable upgrade to the facility and site, and for equipment reconditioning. The recommissioned facility will also produce mill-finished timber for retail markets with a focus on addressing the housing shortage in the Cree region of Quebec.
“Developing our natural resources in a sustainable manner is essential to ensuring future prosperity. And by working in real partnership with Indigenous communities, we can advance meaningful economic reconciliation and create good jobs, all while helping to build up the low-carbon economy. That’s why the Government of Canada is pleased to support this project. Recommissioning and upgrading the Cree Forestry Project will result in new opportunities for the local community and Canada’s forestry sector in Quebec,” said Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson.
By creating 30 jobs in the region, the project will contribute to the growth and socio-economic development of the Cree community of Waswanipi by utilizing local natural resources responsibly and sustainably.
A first financial contribution in the amount of $2.3-million comes from Natural Resources Canada’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI), which provides financial support to Indigenous-led economic development projects in Canada’sforest sector. Benefits of the program include:
- increased Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers and governance;
- increased engagement and economic development for Indigenous communities and peoples involved in the forest sector; and
- increased investment and collaboration between Indigenous Peoples and other natural resource development stakeholders, including governments, industry and non-governmental organizations.
The Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions is also providing a $2.4-million repayable contribution to enable the Cree Lumber Limited Partnership to increase its productivity by acquiring and modernizing equipment. The funding has been granted under the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) program. This program targets businesses and economic organizations to help them prepare local economies for long-term growth. It involves strategic investments in projects aimed at reducing Canada’s environmental impact and fostering a green, resilient economy.
“It’s all about sustainability: we take only what we need to sustain ourselves. Most of all, we do need to create economic opportunities and economic prosperity. The Cree forestry announcement is part of that vision of sustainability that is much needed for us as a community. Having the facility reopened allows people to be part of the solution in addressing the housing crisis and encourages them to build their own home so we’re not so heavily dependent on social housing,” said Chief Irene Neeposh of the Cree First Nation of Waswanip.
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