The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is grateful that today’s federal budget continues the federal support for forest sector innovation and transformation, especially its recognition of the important role that universities and colleges play in research and skills development.
The government will provide $86 million to extend the Forest Innovation program and the expanding Market Opportunities Program for another two years, including support for FPInnovations, one of the largest private non-profit research centres in the world. The budget has also directed the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to continue its collaboration with academic researchers in the forest sector.
FPAC also applauds the help for Canadian manufacturers via the 10-year deferral of tax under the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance,
“The forest products sector makes up 12 percent of Canada’s manufacturing sector so we welcome the budget initiative to extend the ACCA as well as the continued emphasis on innovation to help us on our journey of transformation,” said David Lindsay, the President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). “These measures will help us reach the ambitious goals of Vision2020 and help create new economic activity and support jobs in the forest sector.”
Under Vision2020, the sector is striving to generate another $20 billion in economic activity from new products and new markets; to further reduce the industry’s environmental footprint by 35% and to refresh the workforce with 60,000 recruits by the end of the decade.
Other welcome initiatives in the budget include the support for skills development, the focus on expanded trade and the $75 million over three years to continue to support the implementation of the Species at Risk Act to protect Canada’s diverse species and secure the necessary actions for their recovery.