The announcement, made by James Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, highlights the importance of the forest sector to the Canadian economy and the recognition of the important role government plays in supporting innovative research and development and de-risking transformative bio-based technologies.
In particular, Natural Resources Canada's investments in Forest Industry Transformation and Forest Innovation programs have been extended to continue supporting innovation in the emerging bio-economy and reduce reliance on traditional products. Coupled with support for forest-based economic development of Indigenous communities across Canada, particularly in the areas of clean technology, environmental stewardship and management of forest resources, this government's multi-pronged approach will ensure that the sector prepares for a sustainable bio-based future while creating economic opportunities and jobs today.
- The forest sector is of vital importance to the Canadian economy, directly employing over 230,000 workers in all regions of the country, including in 200 communities that rely on the sector for at least 50 per cent of their economic base.
- Previous funding by the Federal Government has supported FPInnovations' innovative research and the de-risking of pre-commercial technology for game-changing bioproducts such as:
- Building the world's first nanocrystalline cellulose demonstration plant in partnership with Domtar,
- Building the world's first cellulose filament demonstration plant in collaboration with Kruger, and
- Implementing a commercial-scale lignin recovery process at a West Fraser mill.
- A total of $118 million over three years will be invested in the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program (IFIT) and the Forest Innovation Program (FIP).
- An additional $10 million will be invested in the Indigenous Forestry Initiative.