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Federal Government Delivers Good News for the Forest Industry

ACOA to co-manage Spruce Budworm Early Intervention initiative with CED and NRCan

February 18, 2014 - Fredericton, NB - Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The Honourable Rob Moore, Regional Minister for New Brunswick and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), and the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, met with industry and government officials today at the Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre to discuss the critical importance of the Spruce Budworm Early Intervention Initiative that was referenced in last week’s federal budget. Economic Action Plan 2014 announced that $18 million was to be put aside to develop and implement the program over the next four years.

Minister Moore explained that the initiative will be led by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in Atlantic Canada and by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Québec (CED) in Québec. Both Agencies will work in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada, provincial governments and industry stakeholders. The initiative’s details are still being finalized, but it is expected to move forward quickly.

The spruce budworm historically experiences a population explosion every 35-40 years, leading to widespread defoliation in evergreen forests and massive losses for the forestry industry. Scientists and industry leaders say that an outbreak is currently occurring in Quebec and new outbreak is imminent in New Brunswick. The Spruce Budworm Early Intervention initiative aims to keep the population under control and prevent it from spreading by testing environmentally responsible solutions with the least possible disruption to the ecosystem.

Quick Facts

  • The last significant outbreak of spruce budworm in eastern Canada between 1977 and the early 1990s resulted in defoliation that at one point covered just over half of New Brunswick’s total area.
  • New Brunswick is one of the most forestry-dependent provinces in Canada, with the forest sector generating an estimated $2.5 billion in economic activity, or over 5% of the province’s GDP, in 2010, and employing more than 12,600 people, according to the NB Forest Products Association. The sector employs over 200,000 people across Canada.
  • This Early Intervention initiative aims to protect eastern Canada from the potential loss of valuable forest resources to the severe defoliation caused by a major outbreak of spruce budworm.

Quotes

“Our Government is taking steps to ensure that an outbreak of spruce budworm never harms our forests the way they have done in the past. By investing $18 million to develop and implement an early intervention strategy, we are taking a responsible, proactive approach to addressing what could be a very serious problem affecting the forest industry in Québec and Atlantic Canada.”


The Honourable Rob Moore, Regional Minister for New Brunswick and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

“The forestry sector is a major economic driver and employer across eastern Canada. This initiative has the potential to keep thousands of hard-working Atlantic Canadians and Québecers on the job, providing for their families and keeping this important industry thriving across our region.”

The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton

Associated Links

• http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/insects-diseases/13383
• http://www.nbforestry.com/
• http://www.oifq.com/fr/membres/formation-continue/colloque-tbe/


Contacts

Kelsie Corey
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Rob Moore
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
613-941-7241

Robert Bourgeois
Media Relations
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
506-851-6773