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Ontario announces wood marketing initiative

NEWS RELEASE ONTARIO MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES ************************** McGuinty government helps build markets for wood products Support for WoodWORKS! campaign part of investment to strengthen forest industry NORTH BAY — The Ontario governmen
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NEWS RELEASE

ONTARIO MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES

************************** McGuinty government helps build markets for wood products

Support for WoodWORKS! campaign part of investment to strengthen forest industry

NORTH BAY — The Ontario government is strengthening the forest industry by supporting efforts to expand markets for the province's wood products and increase production of value-added wood products, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced yesterday.

"Through the Ontario Wood Promotion Program, we're helping a key engine of our economy – the province's forest industry – increase its capacity to make and sell value-added products," said Ramsay. "Building the value-added sector is a vital step towards a more competitive industry and more secure local jobs."

The province will invest $1 million a year in the Ontario Wood Promotion Program to help provide existing and new companies with resources related to markets, education, training, technology transfer, and applied research and development for value-added wood products.

Funding will be allocated to a variety of programs, including $225,000 a year for three years to the Canadian Wood Council's WoodWORKS! campaign to build markets for wood products.

"We are very pleased with today's announcement that will enable WoodWORKS! to continue its successful campaign by promoting the use of Ontario's wood products," said Marianne Bérubé, Ontario executive director of WoodWORKS! "We are also delighted to be part of the Ontario Wood Promotion Program that will strengthen existing synergies between industry, educational institutes and government."

"Our government is working to boost the competitiveness of our forest sector, and to build markets for our wood,” said Nipissing MPP Monique Smith. "The funding we are announcing today will help make that happen and support the valuable work of the Canadian Wood Council's WoodWORKS! campaign."

An advisory committee will help guide the Ontario Wood Promotion Program.

Members of the committee will include representatives of government, academia and industry.

The Ontario Wood Promotion Program is one of several measures the government has put in place to help make Ontario's forest sector more competitive.

In total, the government is making $1 billion available through various programs to assist the forest sector over five years.

These programs will help stimulate new forest sector investments in value-added manufacturing and co-generation as the industry becomes more competitive and transitions into the future.

This is just the latest example of how the McGuinty government is working to create a stronger and more prosperous north.

Other initiatives include:

- Making more than $1 billion available over five years in assistance to the forest industry. - Securing $107 million in investment based on accumulated government support of about $21.5 million through programs administered by the Forest Sector Competitiveness Secretariat. - Continuing annual contributions of $60 million to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to support private-sector job creation, youth training and emerging technologies, while continuing to invest in public infrastructure projects that support economic development. *************************** Backgrounder - Ontario Wood Promotion Program

The Ontario government is contributing $1 million a year to the Ontario Wood Promotion Program.

The program will support efforts to expand markets for the province's wood products and increase production of value-added wood products.

The program will fund a range of measures to increase Ontario's capacity to make andsell value-added wood products.

They include:

- $225,000 a year for three years to the Canadian Wood Council’s WoodWORKS! campaign to promote the use of wood products in commercial applications. - $500,000 a year for four years to a Research and Training Education Initiative, including:

- $210,000 a year for four years to the University of Toronto to develop undergraduate and graduate programs in forest biomaterials and engineering. - $140,000 a year for four years to Lakehead University to enhance technical support to the wood products industry through a partnership with Forintek and enhancement of the university’s wood science facilities. - $50,000 a year for four years to Conestoga College to provide scholarships to attract students to a new four-year applied woodworking degree program. - $40,000 a year for four years to Confederation College to develop a specialized training program. - $60,000 a year for four years for a wood design competition for colleges, including Canadore College, Conestoga College, Ontario College of Art and Design and Sheridan College. The competition will be administered by WoodWORKS!.

- $170,000 a year for four years for applied research for value-added wood products. In the first year, $85,000 to Bowater in partnership with Confederation College and $85,000 to Tembec.

- $112,500 – $37,500 in the first year and $75,000 in the second year – to NOVA, Forintek's Northern Ontario Value-Added Initiative, to help mills to improve efficiencies and develop value-added opportunities. - $6,250 in the first year and $25,000 a year for the next three years to support the creation of an Ontario Wood Products Export Association.

Since June 2005, the McGuinty government has announced a series of measures aimed at restoring the competitiveness of the forest sector and contributing to strong and prosperous communities in rural and northern Ontario.

In total, the government is making $1 billion available through various programs to assist the forest sector over five years.

These programs will help stimulate new forest sector investments in value-added manufacturing and co-generation as the industry becomes more competitive and transitions into the future.

The initiatives include: - $350 million in loan guarantees to stimulate new investment in value-added manufacturing, energy conservation and energy co-generation. - $150 million over three years through the Forest Sector Prosperity Fund to leverage new capital investments $140 million in electricity rebates for Northern pulp and paper mills. - $75 million annually for the construction and maintenance costs of primary and secondary forest access roads. - $70 million in a one-time stumpage fee refund for 2005-06.

- $10 million per year by 2007-08 to enhance the Forest Resource Inventory. - $3 million a year for three years to reduce timber fees for poplar veneer and white birch, beginning in 2006.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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