News

November 20, 2012 - Press release

Provincial Budget 2013-14: Wood is a Material of the Future!

Québec City, November 20, 2012 – The Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) recognizes the efforts deployed by the Government of Quebec within the framework of the 2013-14 budget announcement made by Mr. Nicolas Marceau, Minister of Finance and the Economy to promote the use of wood in construction. At the same time, the QFIC laments the absence of concrete measures specifically regarding implementation of the new forest regime, a priority issue where support for the industry’s transformation process is concerned.

 

The industry had previously petitioned the government to incorporate into its budget concrete measures to ensure that implementation of the new timber allocation and royalty system was cost-neutral. Now, at a time when the forest industry is at a crucial phase in its transformation, its vulnerability will instead intensify as implementation of the regime goes forward. In particular, the industry must contend with continuing uncertainty owing to a considerable hike in supply costs – on the order of 20%, according to an initial assessment.

 

“There can be no ignoring our economic reality, in which the competitiveness of Quebec forest companies plummeted as the result of a series of crises and one of the highest cost structures in the world. Under the current terms of implementation, the new regime threatens to undermine their global competitiveness. The government should, in its capacity of steward of public forest lands, assume its responsibilities, particularly in regard to the issue of the construction of multi-use roads and the entire set of costs associated with fire protection and control (under the auspices of SOPFEU, a provincial entity),” noted Mr. André Tremblay, QFIC’s Chief Executive Officer.

 

“It would be disastrous for the economy of Quebec to prevent businesses from benefiting from the recovery that is just now appearing on the horizon. Incontestably, we contribute to the economic health of Quebec and its regions. Consequently, the industry again offers to collaborate with the government and get down to work on finding solutions that will enable the new regime to be implemented without generating additional costs. It follows that the QFIC favourably greets the extension of the measure aimed at modulating, until 2017, the tax credit for investment in resource-producing regions,” concluded Mr. Tremblay.

 

It is also worth noting that the “Charter of Wood” and the amendment of the home building code both figure prominently among measures designed to foster the use of wood. “Increased wood use squares entirely with the sustainable development efforts of Quebec society. Construction lumber is a local, renewable resource, requiring little energy to product it in comparison with other materials.

 

Consequently, making greater use of wood in Quebec for new buildings helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” declared Mr. Louis Poliquin, director of the Centre d’expertise sur la construction commerciale en bois (cecobois), a centre of expertise dedicated to promoting and facilitating the increased use of wood in multifamily and non-residential construction in Quebec.

 

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About the QFIC
The QFIC is the voice of Quebec's forest industry. By themselves, Quebec’s hardwood lumber, veneer, pulp, paper, cardboard and panel companies annually generate $17 billion in business, close to $2.5 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.


Source: Laurence Drouin
               Director, Communications and Public Affairs
               Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC)
               418-657-7916, ext. 411
               laurence.drouin@cifq.qc.ca

 

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