Canada's Forest Sector Calls $107 Billion Emergency Aid Package A Critical First Step

  |  
March 25, 2020

Earlier today, the federal government’s $107 billion emergency COV1D 19 support package for Canadian workers and businesses received Royal Assent.

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) was pleased to see all party support for this bill and views it as an important first step to provide much needed relief to Canadians.

FPAC is calling for swift implementation of these emergency measures so we can help families and businesses now and protect the Canadian economy.

“The current situation is unprecedented and we cannot overstate the importance of a quick and coordinated plan to implement the measures approved today,” said Derek Nighbor, FPAC’s President and CEO.  “This is a big first step. We applaud MPs and Senators from all parties for getting down to work and passing this quickly. As this pandemic unfolds, we need to be live to other required measures to protect Canadian workers and their families, and provide businesses with the needed backstops for business continuity and cash flows. Right now, it’s about fighting through this storm, then we can hopefully soon switch gears to recovery and growth mode,” Nighbor added.

FPAC is echoing calls from the Business Council of Canada for the federal government to move urgently on three other key measures:

  1. Help laid-off workers right away. Many larger businesses, including those in the forest sector, would be prepared to step up to pay laid-off workers an amount equal to what they would be entitled to under Employment Insurance benefits, with the guarantee that the federal government would reimburse them. The key is to get money in the hands of individuals and families now – and avoid pushing them en masse into lengthy EI line ups.
  2. Help distressed companies with credit and cash flows. We welcome the $10 B already earmarked to support capital and liquidity, but much more will be needed to keep workers employed and companies operating. Expanding programming through Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) by at least $75 B would be a huge boost.
  3. Federal direction around ‘essential services’ or ‘critical operations’. Similar to what has been issued by the US Department of Homeland Security, we need a federal directive to declare forest products and the forest sector as ‘essential’ or ‘critical’ infrastructure and operations.  The Canadian forest sector supply chain is critical and provides essential items from building materials to pulp for masks and hospital gowns; from products like toilet paper and tissue to pellets and biofuels for heating systems. While the importance of the forest sector value chain has already been recognized in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, a confusing patchwork is emerging across the country and some provinces have not yet acted.  To keep operating, many of our key suppliers are now needing to prove that they are connected to an ‘essential’ or ‘critical’ supply chain. Today, if you are a forest products company operating in a province that has not yet made a declaration, it is putting supplier/customer relationships and business at risk. Federal direction and clarity is needed immediately.

In the days and weeks ahead, FPAC and its members across the country will continue work with the federal government to ensure forest sector workers and communities get the support they need.

-30-

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $73.6-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 12 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.

For more information contact:

Kerry Patterson-Baker
Vice President, Communications
e : kpatterson-baker@fpac.ca
t : 613-563-1441 ext. 314
Follow us on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC

For more information contact:
Kerry Patterson-Baker
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
kpatterson-baker@fpac.ca
(613) 563-1441 x 314
Follow FPAC on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC
July 18, 2024
Forest Products Association of Canada Announces Winners of 2024 Green Dream Internship Program
Summer 2024 will be one to remember for five students selected as winners of FPAC's Green Dream Internship Program.
Read This
July 16, 2024
Forest Products Association of Canada Responds to Canada Green Buildings Strategy
FPAC welcomes the release of the Canada Green Buildings Strategy (CGBS), recognizing it as a positive step towards a sustainable future for Canada’s built environment.
Read This
June 13, 2024
Canada’s Blueprint for Mass Timber Success Unveiled at Parliament Hill
The comprehensive report outlines an ambitious and strategic vision for the future of mass timber in Canada and its potential to transform green construction and drive economic growth across the country.
Read This
June 7, 2024
Canada’s Forest Sector Welcomes New National Wildland Fire Strategy
FPAC welcomes this proactive strategy to address worsening wildfires and their impacts on human health and safety, community infrastructure, the environment, and local economies.
Read This
September 21, 2020
Lisa Raitt Honoured As Community Champion By Canada's Forest Products Sector
Forest Products Association of Canada recognizes former minister Lisa Raitt's leadership in the forestry sector with Forestry Community Champion award
Read This
November 13, 2019
The Search for Canada's Greenest Workforce
Canada's forest industry is a top employer and global leader in sustainability, forest management, clean technology and innovation
Read This
March 21, 2019
Standing Tall with Canada's Forest Workers on International Day of Forests
Forest Products Association of Canada celebrates forestry communities, workers and world leading forestry management for International Day of Forests
Read This
February 20, 2019
Opinion | Workforce Diversity - Canada's Forest Sector Branches Out
Forest Products Association of Canada embraces diversity and encourages women and indigenous to join the forestry workforce
Read This
September 11, 2023
Aaron Wilde: Blog 5: 2023 FPAC Green Dream Internship Program
Aaron Wilde: Blog 5: 2023 FPAC Green Dream Internship Program
Read This
September 11, 2023
Amanda Pacholczak: A Love Letter to the Mill: 2023 FPAC Green Dream Internship Program
Amanda Pacholczak: A Love Letter to the Mill: 2023 FPAC Green Dream Internship Program
Read This
September 11, 2023
Olivia Becher: Vlog 5: 2023 FPAC Green Dream Internship Program
Olivia Becher: Vlog 5: 2023 FPAC Green Dream Internship Program
Read This
September 11, 2023
Annika Clark: Working for Interfor Adams Lake: 2023 FPAC Green Dream Internship Program
Annika Clark: Working for Interfor Adams Lake: 2023 FPAC Green Dream Internship Program
Read This
August 10, 2022
Forest Products Sector Calls for Action on Critical Supply Chain Issues
Ask any business sector what the basic principles of supply chain management are – and the answer invariably comes down to affordable and reliable transportation services. Unfortunately for Canada’s forest products sector, the present system is neither affordable nor reliable.
Read This
March 16, 2022
Getting Canada’s Economy Back on the Rails
Canada needs a resilient and predictable transportation system to meet increasing global demand for our products, keep workers working, and improve economic conditions in rural and northern communities.
Read This
February 15, 2022
Forest Sector Raises Questions Around Federal Carbon Revenue Sharing Plan
We’re simply asking for transparency, clear consideration of rural and northern Canadian realities, and our fair share: Nighbor
Read This
January 31, 2022
Forest Sector Calls for Action on Supply Chain Woes
When Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and his colleagues host a discussion on Canada’s supply chain today, the forest products sector and its workers will be looking for leadership from Ottawa to address a transportation system that is too often fragile and under-performing.
Read This