May 19, 2017 - The chances of arriving at a softwood lumber solution during NAFTA renegotiations this August are not high, an anonymous source told Reuters. 

"It's hard to imagine a deal being done that soon," the source said. | READ MORE 
May 5, 2017 - Despite not being surprised by the preliminary softwood lumber tariffs imposed by the U.S. last week, EACOM Timber Corporation’s president and chief executive officer Kevin Edgson is not any less concerned.

Edgson sat down with me outside the main room at the Ontario Natural Resources Forum in downtown Toronto; two days after President Trump made the preliminary tax announcement from Washington on April 24.

“We knew it was coming for a long time… It’s in the neighbourhood of what we expected,” Edgson said. “We were disappointed in terms of the retroactivity, especially because it seems that was manufactured as opposed to anything that was reasonable or expected.”

Montreal-based EACOM owns five sawmills in Ontario and two in Quebec. It also owns a remanufacturing facility in Val-d’Or, Que., and an engineered wood mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Acquiring the latter is one way Edgson says EACOM is expanding its market reach.

“The Sault Ste. Marie operation produces a product that isn’t covered under this duty, so that was really us investing in and widening our product scope,” Edgson said. “Outside of that what we’ve done is we’ve minimized the amount of capital that we’ve spent in the last two years to build up our balance sheet, which is really to ensure that we have the liquidity to be able to take the hit.”

Earlier in the day, Edgson sat down with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss industry concerns including partnerships with Aboriginal communities and exposing young people to the forestry industry, particularly young women. Softwood lumber was at the top of the list.

During the discussion, Wynne announced that Ontario would be providing an additional $20 million in funding for the construction and maintenance of forest access roads. 

Wynne said she discussed the preliminary duty situation with other premiers and is ready to work with them along with the federal government to find a solution.

“This has been a contentious file with the U.S. for years and we continue to go through a cycle,” she noted. “There is a real willingness to find common ground across the country in the best way that we can.”

“It’s clear that [U.S./Canada relations are] in a rougher, rockier patch than in the past,” Edgson told me. “I think, eventually, cooler heads will prevail. It is the largest trading relationship in the world. It is in the best interest of people on both sides of that to find solutions.”

Edgson said he is optimistic that ultimately, there will be a good relationship established between the two governments on the softwood lumber issue.

“When you look at our side of this dispute, it is an unjust accusation and therefore, what we need to do is take the higher road,” Edgson said. “We need to be calm in tone and response. What we need to do is defend ourselves with honesty and integrity and continue to believe in the process.”
April 28, 2017 - Monday’s announcement of preliminary softwood lumber duties on Canadian imports to the U.S. has raised tensions south of the border.

“These duties are unwarranted and this determination is completely without merit,” said president of the BC Lumber Trade Council Susan Yurkovich.

“Reaching a new agreement is in the best interest of producers and consumers on both sides of the border,” Yurkovich said from B.C. on Tuesday.

More than half of B.C.’s lumber exports currently go to the U.S. Yurkovich said the Canadian industry needs to focus on expanding its markets and consequently decreasing dependence on the U.S. market. “The Canadian industry has worked very hard over the last number of years to diversify our markets including moving a whole lot of our lumber into Asia,” she said.

The Asian expansion plans include China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and also India.

‘Misguided effort’

Duncan Davies is president and chief executive officer of Vancouver-based lumber producer Interfor. He noted how counter-productive a trade dispute is when there are so many opportunities for Canada and the U.S. to work together. 

“The real loser in all of this is the U.S. home builder and U.S. consumer… That’s why we think this is such a misguided effort,” Davies said. “Log costs are actually significantly less in some regions of the U.S. than they are in Canada.”

Davies said Interfor was not surprised by the announcement, adding that the company is well-financed to deal with any tariffs. “I don’t see Interfor materially changing any of our practices as a result of these duties.”

He noted lumber prices in Canada have seen a rise by about 30 per cent in anticipation of the duties.

Davies said the U.S. is using this method to put pressure on Canada in its goal to find a long-term solution that will be more favourable to the U.S.

‘Compe24cfae7f84287c076a251ad29dd373a_XL.jpgletely unprecedented’

“It’s completely unprecedented what the U.S. Department of Commerce has done here,” Yurkovich said referring to the two periods the Commerce Department chose to compare in its investigation. “They’ve picked an arbitrary period to make the periods match what they wanted to find all along. It doesn’t make any sense and I will be very interested to see how they’ve come up with that calculation,” she said.

Yurkovich said government and councils are working together to put forward evidence in defense of the Canadian industry. “While we support reaching a new agreement we are also fully prepared to vigorously defend our workers and traders,” she said.

“This kind of action creates volatility,” Yurkovich said.


Going forward Yurkovich said there is an initiative underway by federal Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr along with other ministers across the country to “provide industry support during this adversity.”

“We’re not going to be rattled. We are resilient,” Yurkovich said. “We’re going to continue to fight this fight and we’re going to be successful.”
April 25, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber. The duties, a response to a petition filed by the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION), are set at: West Fraser 24.12%, Canfor 20.26%, Tolko 19.5 per cent, Resolute 12.82 per cent, JD Irving 3.02 per cent, and 19.88 per cent for all other Canadian producers.

“These duties stand to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada. “The duties are unwarranted and without merit. We 100 per cent support the federal government’s “Team Canada” position and we must have a fair and equitable trading structure for both our industry and U.S. customers.”

These duties will have a negative impact not only here in Canada but also on U.S. consumers. Currently, American demand for lumber far exceeds what the American industry is able to produce. They need Canada’s softwood lumber.

Research from the National Association of Home Builders in the United States found that for every $1,000 increase in house prices (due to higher lumber costs), 150,000 families are priced out of purchasing a home. It was also found that at just a 15 percent tariff, 4,600 American jobs and $265 million in wages and salaries would be lost.

“We will stand up for our industry’s workers and impacted mill communities in Canada and call on federal and provincial governments to work with us to ensure they can maintain their livelihoods during this difficult period,” says Nighbor.

Canada is the largest softwood lumber exporter to the United States. The Canadian forest products industry is vital to the national economy and the economies of many forest dependent communities across the country. The sector is one of Canada’s largest employers, providing 230,000 direct jobs and supporting one million families across the country.
April 25, 2017 – President Donald Trump has announced the dreaded news about countervailing duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber.

After launching an official investigation in December 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce decided that preliminary subsidies ranging from three to 24 per cent will be applied to Canadian softwood lumber imports going into the U.S.

The announcement came on Monday afternoon, one day before the news was originally set to be released.

"It has been a bad week for U.S.-Canada trade relations… The Department of Commerce determined a need to impose countervailing duties of roughly one billion dollars on Canadian softwood lumber exports to us,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement. “This is not our idea of a properly functioning Free Trade Agreement."

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said the imposition will negatively affect both Canadian and American workers.

"The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty. The accusations are baseless and unfounded,” they said in a joint statement released Monday.

The following four companies were investigated by the Department of Commerce as Canada’s top four lumber exporting companies:

·      West Fraser, 24.12 per cent.

·      Canfor, 20.26 per cent.

·      Tolko, 19.50 per cent.

·      Resolute, 12.82 per cent.

The lowest subsidies of 3.02 per cent are being imposed on J.D. Irving, which requested a separate investigation.

All other Canadian softwood lumber producers will be hit with a 19.88 per cent duty following this announcement.

The U.S. Lumber Coalition petitioned the American government to apply taxes on Canadian lumber in November 2016, citing unfair government subsidies being provided on the Canadian side.

“Today’s ruling confirms that Canadian lumber mills are subsidized by their government and benefit from timber pricing policies and other subsidies which harm U.S. manufacturers and workers,” said the Coalition’s legal chair Cameron Krauss in a statement. “We appreciate today’s actions by the Department of Commerce, which has examined massive amounts of evidence presented by the Coalition, the Canadian industry and the Canadian Federal and provincial governments.”

“The Coalition is hopeful that the duties imposed by today’s decision will begin the process of creating a level playing field for the future and allow for U.S. manufacturers to make essential investments and expand the domestic lumber industry to its natural market and protect and grow the jobs that are so essential to our workers and our communities,” Krauss said.

There are 202,000 Canadian forestry workers who will be impacted by this announcement, according to labour union Unifor.

“In the early 2000s when the U.S. imposed a combined duty of 27 per cent, 15,000 Canadians were laid off within months,” the company said in a statement Monday.

Canadian forestry councils expressed their frustration following the announcement, as well as Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources Kathryn McGarry.

“These duties are unwarranted, and this determination is completely without merit,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. This new trade action is driven by the same protectionist lumber lobby in the U.S. whose sole purpose is to create artificial supply constraints on lumber and drive prices up for their benefit, at the expense of American consumers.”

“The fact is, Canadian lumber imports don’t pose a threat to the U.S. lumber industry. There is enough North American demand to grow the U.S. industry while also allowing Canada to supply its U.S. customers as we have been doing for decades,” Yurkovich said.

The softwood products subject to the countervailing duties include softwood lumber, siding, flooring and “certain other coniferous wood,” according the Department of Commerce.

“We are disappointed that the United States has chosen this course of action,” said Paul Whittaker, co-chair of the Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council on Tuesday.

lumber pic“Alberta’s timber pricing practices have repeatedly been found to be fair and competitive by international tribunals. We plan to work closely with the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta to vigorously challenge these tariffs and fight for Alberta jobs that depend on a healthy, sustainable forest sector. All options, including litigation, are on the table. We expect to be fully vindicated,” he said.

Canadian softwood lumber imports were valued at approximately $5.66 billion in 2016.

The results of the Commerce Department’s preliminary anti-dumping duty investigation will be released on June 23, after it was pushed back by the U.S. Lumber Coalition from May 4

"The Government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, including through litigation,” Freeland and Carr said.

"Canada will continue to press their American counterparts to rescind this unfair and unwarranted trade action. We are committed to working with the U.S. Administration to achieve a durable solution. We remain confident that a negotiated settlement is not only possible but in the best interests of both countries."
April 24, 2017 - Canada's forest industry has transformed itself into one of the most innovative sectors of our economy, investing in research, developing new products and expanding its markets as it also sets the pace on environmental performance.

Hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers and their local communities depend upon this industry's continued success to support good middle-class jobs, create new opportunities and ensure sustainable prosperity for generations to come.

Federal cabinet ministers are targeting new markets around the globe in a concerted effort to enhance trade and market diversification for Canadian wood and wood products as part of the clean-growth economy.

International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne is in China to promote the use of Canadian wood in home construction while Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, is in Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam to explore further opportunities for Canadian wood exporters in the Asia-Pacific region. "‎Canada will not be deterred and will vigorously defend our industry. We will also seek new opportunities and provide greater access to the burgeoning economies of the world for Canada's high-quality products, notably softwood, where my mission to China has been met with eagerness to explore the sustainable, eco-friendly and safe softwood products where our industry excels,” Champagne said. “We will leave no stone unturned. Canada's softwood will help build the economies of tomorrow, especially in Asia, and together we will ensure the future prosperity of our producers and the good jobs they sustain."

Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, will also lead a delegation of Canadian forestry leaders to China in early June to maintain momentum from Minister Champagne's efforts this week. "Canada's forest industry is uniquely positioned to help address some of the biggest challenges facing our country: combating climate change, driving innovation, creating jobs for Indigenous and rural communities and advancing trade,” Carr said. “Our government will vigorously defend its interests as a way to strengthen the industry and support the people and communities that rely upon it."

These trade missions build on the $6 million in funding provided this year by Natural Resources Canada's Expanding Market Opportunities program to eight Canadian forest product associations to promote Canadian wood products in overseas markets, and $18 million to FPInnovations for research and development.

"Thousands of middle-class Canadian jobs depend on our wood and wood products. Our government is firmly committed to promoting and defending the interests of workers and producers from across Canada. My colleagues and I will continue to work very closely with the industry, its workers, the provinces and territories to ensure continued success at home and abroad," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.

Budget 2017 announced measures to continue investing in Canada's forest sector, including $40 million over four years to support projects and activities that increase the use of wood in construction. This helps create new markets for sustainable Canadian products.

"Our government stands ready to take action to protect and support the workers, families and communities who may be affected by the softwood lumber trade dispute. The softwood lumber industry is a priority for our government, as this industry provides employment in communities across the country and is a source of economic prosperity," said Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos.

These initiatives are part of the Government of Canada's continuing effort to maintain and increase access to global markets for Canadian wood and wood products.
April 21, 2017 - Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas, issued the following statement on Friday regarding reports that Canada is looking at China to boost lumber exports as an alternative to the U.S.

"The fact that Canada is seeking alternative sources to the U.S. for its lumber exports should serve as a wake-up call to Washington policymakers. More than one-third of the lumber used in the U.S. last year came from exports because the U.S. does not produce enough lumber to meet the nation's needs. Home builders need a consistent, reasonably priced supply of lumber to keep housing affordable for hard-working American families.

"Policymakers have a number of options at their disposal to make up for the current domestic shortfall. These include increasing domestic harvests, boosting exports from other nations and limiting U.S. exports. Moreover, it would be in the best interests of the U.S. and Canada to achieve a long-term solution to the ongoing trade dispute that ensures U.S. lumber consumers have access to a stable supply of lumber at competitive prices."
April 20, 2017 – The U.S. Lumber Coalition has requested, and succeeded, in postponing the results of the U.S. Commerce Department’s investigation into anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber products.

The information was published in the U.S. Federal Register. It states the petitioner (U.S. Lumber Coalition) made the request in order “to ensure that the Department has sufficient time to obtain and review all relevant information from the parties to this proceeding.”

The Commerce Department stated that since it had no reason to oppose the request, it agreed to extend the deadline on that basis.

The deadline for preliminary anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber has now moved to June 23. The original deadline was May 4.

“The U.S. lumber industry's overarching goal is to restore an environment in which it can invest, grow to its natural size, and better be able to supply the U.S. market which will help restore the thousands of jobs lost to unfair trade, and can only happen if the domestic industry is not being impaired by unfairly traded imports,” the Lumber Coalition has stated on its website.

The softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the U.S. expired in October 2015. In November 2016, the U.S. Lumber Coalition launched a petition asking the American government to impose duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports, citing unfair subsidies to American lumber producers.

"We're looking for a good deal, not just any deal," Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in the House of Commons about reaching a new softwood lumber agreement, according to a CBC report.

The impending duties are likely to have major consequences on this side of the border, prompting Canadian forestry companies like EACOM Timber Corporation to expand their reach in the market.
April 18, 2017 - The U.S. Commerce Department has said that it will announce on April 25 whether the first round of softwood lumber taxes will be imposed on Canadian imports.

The impending announcement has Canadian forestry companies worried about job losses in the thousands, the Canadian Press reports. | READ MORE
March 23, 2017 - With the United States on the verge of reopening NAFTA, Canada should seize this opportunity to open its agricultural markets, and in return ask for full access to American markets for its softwood lumber, argues an Economic Note published today by the MEI.

"Trade between Canada and the United States having stagnated since the early 2000s, eliminating supply management and softwood lumber tariffs would be a good way of breathing new life into the economic partnership," points out Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and author of the publication.

The system of quotas and tariffs imposed on dairy, eggs, and poultry blocks the entry of foreign products and costs Canadian household $258 a year on average, according to the OECD. Furthermore, if the United States went ahead with the imposition of a 25% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, the average price of a new home on the American market would increase by $1,300. Just for single-family homes, these additional costs would total $1 billion.

"Trade barriers have always enriched a small minority of people at the expense of the vast majority," says Mr. Moreau. "The disappearance of existing tariff barriers would be very beneficial for Canadian and American consumers alike."

Consumers are not the only ones who suffer in the current situation. Canadian farmers also lose under supply management, since it deprives them of access to billions of consumers around the world. Moreover, the funds required to purchase quotas limits their ability to invest to increase the productivity of their farms.

"Putting supply management on the table would be a good negotiating tactic that could convince the American government to drop the idea of imposing tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber," adds Mr. Moreau. "We would thus avoid an nth softwood lumber dispute of the kind we've struggled through every five or ten years."

Canada is the second largest trading partner of the United States, with trade totalling nearly $882 billion a year, or almost $2.5 billion a day.

"To preserve and even expand economic relations between the two countries, it is imperative that politicians on both sides of the border resist the influence of lobby groups and come to the defence of the millions of consumers who pay the price for protectionism," concludes Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of the MEI.

The Economic Note entitled "Trading Supply Management for Softwood Lumber?" was prepared by Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. This publication is available on our website.

The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its studies and its conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating reforms based on market mechanisms.
March 23, 2017 - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) sees some opportunities for Canada’s forest products sector in Wednesday's federal budget.

In the budget tabled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau Wednesday, he earmarked:

  • $1.8 billion to support clean technology. It is critical that the forest products sector is central to the government’s clean tech strategy.  These investments will help our sector develop environmentally friendly products in areas of bio-fuels and bio-materials while helping to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
  • $40 million over 4 years – starting next year – to support projects to increase the use of wood in buildings and infrastructure. This is an important program to support the use of sustainably sourced Canadian wood and since wood stores carbon, this a great way to further address climate change.
  • $5 billion from the Canadian Infrastructure Bank to support improved trade and transportation corridors. This is important as we are a sector heavily dependant on reliable transportation infrastructure and a strong export sector.
  • $1.8 billion for programs to support youth employment, post-secondary education placements and Indigenous skills training; also includes measures to support skills upgrading. Ensuring we have the right workers with the right skills at the right time is key to future of our industry’s success.
“Today’s budget made significant commitments to innovation. We now must work with the federal government on specifics to ensure that our sector is able to capitalize on these investments,” says Derek Nighbor, FPAC CEO. “We must be clear.  Like many other business sectors in Canada, we are not immune to the potential negative economic impacts of trade uncertainty south of the border.  We need a strong continued partnership with the federal government to ensure we can remain competitive and continue to employ over 230,000 Canadians living in over 200 rural and northern communities across the country.”

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $65-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in over 200 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and 1 million indirect jobs across the country. The forest products sector is a world leader in sustainable forest management; we are a critical partner in the fight against climate change and have invested 1.5 billion dollars in clean technology in the last five years.
March 10, 2017 - B.C.'s trade envoy to the U.S. on softwood lumber, David Emerson, was recently in Washington for a meeting with U.S. trade officials, senators and representatives of the National Association of Home Builders about the ongoing softwood lumber dispute. 

“We have met with them to make sure they understand that B.C. is going to fight on behalf of our lumber producers," Emerson said in a statement. "We would much rather find opportunities to work together with our American neighbours to find a lasting solution to this long-lived dispute."

Following what he called a "prickly" meeting with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who is also a main advocate of the U.S. Lumber Coalition, Emerson says the U.S. is not yet ready to settle the dispute.

He says the country is likely still adjusting to President Trump's transition into power.

Emerson says he made it clear to all parties that Canada is not interested in a lengthy and expensive dispute but rather in a long-term decision, on which it is ready to cooperate. 

“A stable, predictable lumber supply is good for workers and the economy on both sides of the border," he said in a statement.

“Litigation will only disrupt the market and create artificial constraints on timber supply that will benefit a select few timber barons and sawmill owners at the expense of American workers and consumers."

Emerson was appointed trade envoy by B.C. Premier Christy Clark in February 2017. | READ MORE 
Feb. 22, 2017 - Amidst ongoing negotiations for a new softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States, the Canadian government has announced a task force on softwood lumber.

The task force will ensure communication between the federal government and all provinces and territories to ensure needs are being met via information-sharing and analysis.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr made the announcement Wednesday. "Canada's forest and natural resource sectors are vital to employment in communities across the country,” he said in a statement. “This new task force will work together to strengthen the long-term success of the forest sector through innovation and diversifying markets for Canadian forest products.”

Minister Carr will take charge of the domestic task force while Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland continues talks with the U.S.

The 2006 Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement expired on Oct. 12, 2015. Since then, the proverbial flame under Canada and the U.S. regarding softwood lumber was re-ignited in November 2016 after the U.S. Lumber Coalition filed a petition against the Canadian government, citing unfair subsidies are being provided by the Canadian government for Canadian producers. It also called for taxes to be imposed on Canadian producers as a result.

"Softwood lumber is a priority for our government. We are committed to promoting and vigorously defending the interests of workers and producers from across Canada,” Minister Freeland said in a statement. “My colleagues and I will continue to work very closely with the softwood industry, its workers, the provinces and territories."

According to a statement from Natural Resources Canada the end-goal for the softwood negotiations is to create stability and predictability on both sides of the border for all lumber producers.

“The government will continue to work closely with provinces, territories and the softwood lumber industry to vigorously defend the interests of the middle-class Canadians who depend on the industry. This work will continue outside of the task force,” the statement read.

“The new Federal–Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber will assess current federal and provincial programming and ensure coordination of government initiatives to promote innovation, market diversification and transformation of the forest sector.”

According to Natural Resources Canada, the country’s forest industry directly employs more than 200,000 people nationwide. And nearly 70 per cent of Canada’s $8.6 billion worth of softwood lumber exports in 2015 were sent to the U.S.

Dec. 13, 2016 - As the prime minister met with premiers from across the country Dec. 9 on the issue of climate change, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) called for strong leadership and smart policies so the forest sector can do its part to support the transition to a low carbon economy. 

Earlier this year FPAC announced its 30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge where it pledged to cut 30 megatonnes of greenhouse gases a year by 2030, about 13 per cent of the federal government’s overall climate change target. 

To reach that goal, FPAC would like to see provinces allocate all revenue generated by a price on carbon to a technology fund made available to industry to support further greening of operations. FPAC would also like to call on the federal and provincial governments to join the global movement to building more with wood as a way to reduce GHG emissions by replacing materials made from fossil fuels. 

“We agree that putting a price on pollution can be a win for both the environment and the economy,” says the CEO of FPAC, Derek Nighbor. “The forest products industry has pledged to do more than any other sector in the country to tackle climate change. With smart government policy, we can do this while still supporting forest communities and the nearly one million families who rely on forestry for their livelihoods.” 

Nighbor notes that FPAC has also signed on to two important initiatives: an open letter from more than 60 CEOs and civil society leaders urging the first minister to take bold action on clean growth and climate change as well as the Clean Growth Century Initiative that says Canada can tackle climate change through innovation. As part of its pre-budget submission, FPAC has been asking for a renewed partnership with government to support innovation by de-risking the commercialization of new innovative green products and processes that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Canadian forest products industry has also been increasing its production of renewable electricity from biomass residue – the sector now produces enough green electricity to power the city of Calgary. With government support for clean technology, FPAC believes the sector can increase its amount of renewable electricity generated in Canada. 

“The forest sector appreciates the leadership role that governments in Canada are now taking to tackle climate change,” Nighbor says. “We are uniquely positioned as a willing and able partner to drive real climate change results for Canada.” 

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $65-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country. 
Dec. 13, 2016 – Ontario’s finance committee will hold a hearing Tuesday to consider ideas for funding the province’s forestry sector.

The hearing, in Sudbury, is meant to be a pre-budget consultation regarding the federal finance committee’s pre-budget recommendations for Canada’s forestry sector.

The federal committee released its pre-budget recommendations on Dec. 7, with a section on funding for Canada’s forest industry.

Tuesday’s meeting will include a presentation from the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA)with ideas on how to best use Ontario’s wood, create new jobs that can improve the economy, and apply more environmentally efficient practices.

“Growing Ontario’s forestry community and recognizing its vital role in climate change mitigation is crucial in maintaining the opportunities in forestry that create jobs and foster economic growth in northern and rural Ontario,” said the OFIA’s president and CEO, Jamie Lim in a statement.

“Ontario’s forestry community generates $11 billion of economic activity. Last year, manufactured forest product sales increased by more than $1 billion over the year before, and our exports of forest products have increased each year since 2012,” Lim stated.
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