The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) applauded the federal government’s launch Tuesday of an innovation agenda, calling it a critical pillar for the Canadian economy and the future of the $65-billion forest products sector.
Derek Nighbor, FPAC’s CEO, said the forest products sector will be leaning more than ever on innovation in the coming years, as the industry transforms into one that emphasizes bio-energy, high-rise wooden buildings and a wide range of new products that rely on forest products. Those new forest-dependent products will include everything from cosmetics to clothing to auto parts.
Mr. Nighbor added that Canada’s forest products sector will also need to remain innovative as it competes in highly competitive international markets and pursues its ambitious climate change goals.
“Innovation is what helped get our industry to where it is today, but it’s also a critical pillar for our future,” said Mr. Nighbor. “We salute the government for making this a clear priority and look forward to taking part in this important process.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced Tuesday a goal to make Canada a global centre of innovation. To get there, Minister Bains said the government will focus on six areas for action.
The government said it will spend the summer gathering input, then conduct formal consultations in the fall. Mr. Nighbor encouraged those in the forest products sector to participate where possible.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $65-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.