By: The Working Forest Staff
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, has announced the federal government’s intent to provide up to $30 million to offset additional costs associated with COVID-19 safety measures for small and medium enterprises in the forest sector, including tree-planting operations. Faced with the challenges of maintaining the manufacturing of essential products and ensuring seedlings are planted on schedule amid COVID-19, federal, provincial, and territorial governments, together with industry, worked collaboratively to quickly put in place measures to protect workers and communities. The government intends to work with the provinces and territories to deliver this funding, which will preserve jobs for forest sector workers, including approximately 7,000 tree planters this year.
More specifically, this investment will help cover extra costs for things like sanitizing stations, additional accommodations and/or transportation, facilities, and services to maintain social distancing, and personal protective equipment. In addition, the funding announced today will help support the scheduled planting of 600 million trees.
A successful 2020 tree planting season and a resilient forest sector will help the government deliver on its commitment to plant two billion trees incrementally over the next ten years, a key part of Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“Today’s announcement is about protecting workers and maintaining important seasonal jobs while getting us closer to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said The Honourable SeamusO’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.