KENORA – BUSINESS – “Our government is proud to support the transformation of Canada’s forest industry to become more economically competitive and sustainable. By helping Canadian companies to lead the world in developing and commercializing new high-value products and technologies, we are supporting jobs and opportunities for Canadians. I look forward to welcoming key partners from across Canada to Kenora next week so that together we can chart a course for the next phase of economic growth in Canada’s forest industry,” stated Greg Rickford, MP-Kenora, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor).
Minister Greg Rickford will host a National Forest Innovation Summit in Kenora, Ontario, on July 8-9, 2015. The Summit will bring together provincial and territorial forest ministers, industry leaders, academic and research institutions and Aboriginal community leaders to support the transformation of the forest sector while creating and protecting jobs.
Participants will take stock of progress made to date and discuss emerging opportunities for advancing new products and technologies to increase the competitiveness of Canada’s forest industry and create jobs for Canadians. During the Summit, participants will engage in plenary sessions and roundtable discussions focused on the challenges and opportunities related to the ongoing transformation of the forest sector. Minister Rickford will also deliver keynote remarks on July 9.
The Summit will conclude with an interactive fair that will showcase cutting-edge forest products, featuring live demonstrations of new technologies. The public is invited to visit the fair at the Kenora Recreation Centre from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on July 9.
Following the Summit, Minister Rickford will travel to Thunder Bay for the annual Canadian Council of Forest Ministers meeting on July 10 hosted by the Province of Ontario. The meeting will provide a forum for discussion of key forest sector topics including innovation, environmental reputation and Aboriginal participation in the forest industry.
- In 2013, the forest industry contributed $20.9 billion to Canada’s nominal GDP.
- The forest products sector is one of Canada’s largest employers, providing over 200,000 direct jobs across the country.
- Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested an unprecedented $1.8 billion in the transformation of the forest industry.
- Economic Action Plan 2015 commits $86 million to extend the Forest Innovation Program to help commercialize new products, and the Expanding Market Opportunities Program to develop new markets for Canadian wood products.
- Market diversification is a key part to the forest sector’s ongoing recovery, with 2014 softwood lumber exports to China up 1,000 percent over 2007 levels, as a result of the promotion of Canadian wood products and technical support for wood-framed construction.
- Canada is proud of its commitment to sustainably managing its forests and safeguarding the diverse set of values Canadians place on the forests.
- Canada’s forest management practices are internationally recognized as among the most rigorous in the world.