FPAC’s Nighbor says federal budget presents opportunities for forestry workers
April 21, 2021
By Mike Jiggens
Canada’s 2021 federal budget, tabled on Monday, included some notable aspects that present opportunities for forestry workers and communities, the president of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says.
The budget recognized Canada’s commitment to sustainable forest management and the contributions that Canadian-made forest products can contribute toward a lower carbon and resilient economy. Additionally, the budget encourages greater innovation at forestry mill operations through the Net-Zero Accelerator Fund. Such investment, Derek Nighbor says, will help to lower carbon emissions at Canadian mills, encourage investment, and get more people working.
Nighbor adds the budget allows Canada’s forest bioeconomy and jobs to grow through the allocation of $54.8 million for the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program. Investments in wildfire mapping, community resilience, and enhancements to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre were also welcomed aspects of the budget, he adds.
Nighbor says FPAC looks forward to working with the federal government to address a number of challenges facing rural and northern workers whose communities may not have access to lower carbon fuels or which face barriers to the introduction of new technologies. The association president and CEO says it is important not to leave rural and northern families behind in a transitioning economy.
Growing concerns about regulatory duplication and confusion leading to uncertainty over Canada’s competitive position on the global stage are something FPAC wishes to address with both the federal and provincial governments.
“Canada’s forest sector and its workers are proud of the renewable and sustainable solutions we can bring to bear across the country to help drive recovery, protect jobs and get more people working, and create a cleaner and greener economy,” Nighbor says.
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