OTTAWA -- The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources for Canada, today confirmed that the Saskatchewan Forest Centre will continue its current operations for another year, with the help of a contribution from the Government of Canada. The $900,000 contribution from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Western Economic Diversification (WED) was announced in Ottawa.
The Saskatchewan Forest Centre is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes the sustainable development of the province's forests. It was established in 2001 and has succeeded in its mandate of transferring forest-related technology to the Saskatchewan public.
"Canada's forests are a critical natural resource that continues to contribute to Canada's economic prosperity and rural development right across the country," said Minister Lunn. "Now that we have a softwood lumber deal, it is even more important that we support this Centre and ensure the competitiveness of the Saskatchewan forest industry."
The other funding partners are Saskatchewan Industry and Resources, Saskatchewan Environment and Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food. NRCan will provide $300,000 and WED will provide $600,000 under the existing agreement for the additional year to permit a transition to a new funding model.
"Today's announcement confirms that Canada's new government is committed to a fair and thoughtful approach to the long-term success of the forest industry," said Brian Fitzpatrick, Member of Parliament for Prince Albert. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, this government has secured the return of $4 billion in illegal softwood lumber duties, and committed $400 million toward industry support and the fight against the mountain pine beetle invasion. I am proud to stand with Minister Lunn, as we do the right thing for Saskatchewan and the right thing for the forest industry."
NRCan provided $1.5 million to support the Centre during its initial four-year period from April 1, 2002, to March 31, 2006.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
The Saskatchewan Forest Centre will receive a total of $900,000 in extended financing from the Government of Canada to cover its operations for one more year. The Centre transfers forest-related technology to enhance the competitiveness of the Saskatchewan forest industry.
For more information, media may contact:
Natural Resources Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa (613) 996-2007
NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.
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