Forest Products Association of Canada President and CEO, Derek Nighbor, released the following statement following the tabling of Federal Budget 2022 by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland:
“FPAC was pleased to see Minister Freeland signal the intent to do more to support Canadian workers and families in the face of rising concerns about economic insecurity, jobs, and access to housing.
As far as specifics go, we would like to recognize our partners in labour, with special mention to Canada’s Building Trades Unions, for securing the government’s support for a Labour Mobility Deduction for Tradespeople. This new tax deduction of up to $4000 per year improves tax fairness for skilled tradespersons and apprentices by allowing them to claim travel and temporary relocation expenses.
FPAC also welcomed the announcement of the World Leading Canada Growth Fund that is aimed at improving competitiveness, supply chains, and supports to accelerate innovation and emissions reduction projects – along with measures to encourage carbon capture technology and the use of more Canadian wood through new housing investments, low carbon construction, and green procurement strategies.
We have an opportunity to do more together with our grown and made in Canada, renewable resource to support climate action, drive economic growth, and bring more of Canada to the world. Currently, Russia is the largest exporter of lumber in the world. It surpassed Canada in early 2020. This must change.
Moving forward we are eager to:
1. Work as a country to implement a full value chain plan for green growth in Canadian forestry. With the government’s support, our sector can do even more to reduce emissions, sustainably increase production and jobs, and keep communities safer from the growing risk of catastrophic fires. We need greater policy coherence and coordination across federal departments to achieve the growth potential of Canadian forestry workers and communities.
2. We are counting on our government to stand strong in the face of anti-Canadian, protectionist legislation in the States of California and New York that threaten Canadian forestry exports and jobs. If discriminatory bills driven by misinformation campaigns like the ones currently active on the floors of state legislatures in Sacramento and Albany are passed, it poses a huge precedent setting risk to Canadian exports and jobs not only the forest sector, but other agricultural and natural resource sectors as well.
FPAC looks forward to working with our federal government to build on the renewable and sustainable solutions we can bring to bear across the country to create a cleaner and greener economy.”
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an Industry with annual revenues exceeding $75B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 225,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.