GATINEAU -- Challenge and change are central to our forest sector, according to The State of Canada's Forests 20052006 report. The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, presented the report today at the National Forest Congress.
"The report's theme of industry competitiveness is well chosen," said Minister Lunn. "Canada's forest industry has reacted decisively to improve its efficiency and meet the challenges of a changing marketplace. It continues to respond to these challenges by reducing costs, securing markets and focusing on new and improved products."
Forests make up a significant part of Canada's economy, contributing $37.6 billion to the gross domestic product and providing more than 339,000 direct jobs in 2005. The report contains the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on Canada's forest and forest sector. It profiles the accomplishments of this sector throughout the country.
In the past year, the industry has had to adjust to changes such as the high Canadian dollar, rising energy costs and increased competition. The report also focuses on important advances in forest management in 20052006 as governments sought to balance environmental, economic and social factors affecting Canada's forests.
"The future health of the forest industry will depend on how well we care for this resource, how efficient we are in its use, and how forward-looking we are at identifying product and market opportunities," said Minister Lunn. "Canada's New Government is committed to helping the Canadian forest industry build a stronger future. We will work with industry to develop new markets and increase access in existing markets, combat mountain pine beetle, and help communities and workers affected by the issues facing the forest industry."