March 21, 2012 - Media Release

2012-13 Quebec Budget: A Bit of Hope for the Forest Sector

Québec City, March 20, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) acknowledges the efforts undertaken by the Government of Quebec in its 2012-13 budget (released today by Finance Minister Raymond Bachand) with the objective of ensuring the sustainability of the forest industry and the competitiveness of businesses at a time when this sector has reached an important phase in its transformation.

“Without a doubt, the measure prescribing a $170 million equity participation in forest businesses for the completion of value-added second and third wood processing projects will have a structuring impact conducive to the forest industry’s continue progress,” declared Mr. André Tremblay, the QFIC’s Chief Executive Officer.
Minister Bachand’s budget has, on behalf of forest industry companies, earmarked $170 million for the new “Fonds de Valorisation Bois” (wood use fund), whereby interest will be acquired in businesses to develop high value-added manufacturing projects in the areas of green construction, green energy and green chemistry.

“The creation of a sectoral cluster centred on wood use, in partnership with the industry, will foster the use of wood in non-residential and commercial construction and thus enable Quebec to revive its culture of wood use. In practical terms, we’re talking about $30 million over each of five years that will be used to promote the use of wood in construction. The results obtained by Cecobois over the last several years show the relevance of pursuing in this direction,” concluded Mr. Tremblay.

The adoption of a financial framework for sustainable forest management over a five-year period – including annual investments of $200 million in silvicultural work – is an excellent piece of news, even if this measure does not directly concern the forest products industry. As a result, forestry companies and their employees will be able to plan their industry development and upgrading work in the medium term. In addition, the renewal of the tax credit for manpower training – and in particular for the forest sector – constitutes a needed measure for ensuring succession across the industry.

The QFIC views the latest budget as a step in the right direction and acknowledges that the government has heeded the calls of the municipal sector concerning the importance of government action to support the transformation of Quebec’s forest industry.

About the QFIC
The QFIC is the voice of Québec's forest industry. The QFIC numbers more than 160 regular members operating in the softwood and hardwood lumber, veneer, pulp, paper, cardboard and panel sectors of Québec. Each year, these companies generate $12.9 billion in business and close to $4 billion in wages and benefits, of which nearly $1.5 billion is returned to governments in the form of taxes paid by companies and workers.

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Source: Laurence Drouin
  Assistant Director, Communications
Communications and Public Affairs
Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC)
418-657-7916, ext. 411

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