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Provincial Government and Forest Industry Partners Launch Plan to Diversify Forest Sector

Press Release

January 28, 2019

The Provincial Government, in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Forest Industry Association and forest sector stakeholders, today launched the Forestry Sector Work Plan – a roadmap of 32 actions intended to diversify the forest industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, strengthen the provincial economy and support job creation.

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, was joined by the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources; the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour; the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation; representatives from Indigenous governments and organizations; the forest sector; and community, academic, and business leaders to announce these actions at Memorial University – Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook.

The Forestry Sector Work Plan is an interactive and working document that outlines how partners will pursue opportunities and remove barriers related to sustainable forest management; research, innovation and diversification; business development and risk management; public awareness; and human resources, skills and labour. The collaborative actions outlined in the plan are intended to foster diversification and increase efficiency in the forest sector, leading to the creation of new business activities, support for ongoing work, and growth in private sector job opportunities for residents throughout the province.

With its focus on industry diversification, sustainability and growth, the plan is built on an expectation to meet and exceed previous lumber production levels prior to the downturn in the forest industry based on the following steps:

  • Establishing collaborative research and development programs to help diversify Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd.’s product lines and improve the logistics of moving wood fiber to the mill, sawmills and markets;
  • Maintaining silviculture programs to increase the annual allowable cut and support replacement of forest timber land conversion to other uses;
  • Increasing forest sector business activity by working with local industry to expand sawmill production and diversify wood products;
  • Establishing joint ventures and economic partnerships with Indigenous groups, leading to an increase in direct Indigenous employment in the forest sector;
  • Increasing forest sector activity in Labrador;
  • Supporting the Atlantic Woodworks program to promote use of engineered wood products in midrise construction; and
  • Continuing to increase timber allocations and harvest levels to reach the Way Forward commitment of 20 per cent by 2020 over the previous five-year period. The Department of Fisheries and land Resources continues to advertise timber sale agreements and award five-year permits to support this growth.

To date, the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources has achieved a 16 per cent increase in timber allocations and harvest levels over 2016 levels, and continues to advertise timber sale agreements and award five-year permits to support this growth.

A copy of the sector work plan and other materials presented at the forestry sector summit can be found online at: www.flr.gov.nl.ca/forestrysummit.

At today’s event, Minister Davis also announced a new Employment Enhancement Program for employers engaged in value-added, secondary processing in resource sectors, including forestry, the fishery, aquaculture and agriculture. The program will provide wage subsidies of up to 60 per cent of $12 per hour and training allowances to foster further innovation, increase growth, and diversity employment opportunities in resource sectors. Funding of $500,000 is being provided through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Transfer Agreements and the program will open in April 2019.

Support for the forestry sector delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.

Quotes
“Our government listens to our provincial business community and we respond with actions that make Newfoundland and Labrador a great place to invest and do business, as well as a great place to live, work, and raise a family. This action plan, which was developed collaboratively with the people who understand the true potential of our forestry industry, will build on the work we have already done to successfully navigate tariff challenges and strengthen existing operations. Through our collective efforts, we have set the stage for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, young people throughout our province, Indigenous communities, and those already working in this field to pursue bright futures by maximizing the value of one of our greatest and longest standing industries. Our approach has been successful with mining, oil and gas, aquaculture, agriculture, and the technology sector, and today, together, we take the next step on The Way Forward for our forestry sector.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Our forest sector is changing and becoming more diverse and innovative, and the industry is well positioned to excel in the new, dynamic, high-growth global marketplace for biofuels, biofuel refining and engineered and composite wood products. Unprecedented collaboration between the Provincial Government and industry has resulted in a plan that will realize this sector’s full potential. Through partnerships, technological advances and product research and diversification, we are blazing a trail to generate new revenues and create employment for the people of our province, and I look forward to spearheading these actions.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

“By working together with forestry industry partners throughout the province, we will help our young people, individuals transitioning in their careers, and newcomers build a better future for themselves, their families, and communities. The Forest Sector Attraction and Retention Strategy outlined in the Forestry Sector Work Plan will help address the sector-specific skills and training needs of the forestry industry. The Employment Enhancement Program will encourage the growth of value-added, secondary processing in forestry and the province’s other resource sectors.”
Honourable Bernard Davis
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

“Forestry has traditionally been a major sector of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy – this sector is valued at $380 million, and supports more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. We are a sector comprised of a diverse group of companies, institutions, and organizations dedicated to forest research, development and manufacturing, with companies ranging from small businesses to a major international corporation. Our sector has the knowledge, experience and drive to diversify, sustain and grow forestry, and with strategic support from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, we are ready to meet the challenge through the Forestry Sector Work Plan.”
Bill Dawson
Executive Director, Newfoundland and Labrador Forest Industry Association

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Learn more

www.flr.gov.nl.ca/forestrysummit

The Way Forward

Media contacts
Jason Card
Office of the Premier
709-729-3570
[email protected]

Linda Skinner
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2284, 632-8167
[email protected]

Ryan Crocker
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 709-725-9595
[email protected]

Bill Dawson
Newfoundland and Labrador Forest Industry Association
709-640-2485
[email protected]

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