Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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CIFPAC Report on Atlantic Canada's Forest Industry

Canada's forest industry is currently undergoing a major upheaval, and the massive layoffs and sawmill closures are a testament to that fact. In Atlantic Canada, these changes have had a negative impact on many small rural communities in the region, and communities that depend on the forest are now faced with major challenges. It is with this in mind that the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) decided to support a study called "Atlantic Canada's Forest Industry", which was carried out by the Canadian Institute for Forest Policy and Communication (CIFPAC). The purpose of the study was to provide an analysis of the forest industry in Atlantic Canada and to propose policy options aimed at reinvigorating the forest industry in the region.

The researchers propose three options in the report:

  • First, with regard to economic development and forest policy, the most important role of the government is to create the conditions that allow competitive firms to diversify their products and markets.
  • Second, it is essential to obtain federal and provincial government support for applied and basic research in alternative forest products and markets.
  • Third, the authors note that three provincial governments (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) could design and implement innovative policy options for private forestland conservation.

All in all, the researchers remain cautiously optimistic about the future of Atlantic Canada's forest and forest products industry, which plays an important role in the economy of the Atlantic region. This optimism is in part due to the fact that more and more new uses for forest products, excluding lumber and pulp and paper, are being discovered. The fact remains, however, that giving new value to the region's forest product industry is the responsibility of all players in this sector.

To obtain a copy of this report, please contact ACOA's library by email: ris-sri@acoa-apeca.gc.ca