Canada to invest C$13M in expanding wood products markets, including C$8.5M to develop offshore markets, minister reveals at Wood WORKS! Awards Gala in Toronto

TORONTO , November 7, 2012 (press release) – The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, made the following statement in recognition of tonight's Ontario Wood WORKS! Awards Gala. This annual event brings together architects, engineers, suppliers, government officials, industry representatives and academics to honour the people and organizations pursuing excellence and innovation in wood design in Ontario.

"I congratulate all of the winners and nominees at this year's Wood WORKS! Awards Gala. Our Government is a proud supporter of the Wood WORKS! program. We share your view that Canadian forest products are of the highest quality in the world. Building with wood is a responsible and economically wise choice that creates jobs and contributes to long-term prosperity for all Canadians.

"Our Government is proud to have made unprecedented investments in the forest and wood products industry. The latest phase of our strategic investments under Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 will help increase the capacity of Canadian-based companies to innovate and to market their products in key markets such as Asia and Europe. We have seen a 1,000 percent increase in the value of Canadian softwood lumber exports to China between 2007 and 2011, and we intend to build on this great success.

"As part of this commitment, our Government is investing $13 million this year in the Expanding Market Opportunities program, with $8.5 million to develop offshore markets and $4.5 million to grow North American markets for Canadian wood products. This funding includes support for Wood WORKS! Ontario. Our investments in developing markets for Canadian forest products have resulted in some outstanding outcomes: Canada is now the third-largest exporter of forest products in the world; the largest exporter of softwood lumber; and the second-largest exporter of wood pulp.

"Canada's forest sector can be proud of its record of responsible and sustainable forest management. Canada has 150 million hectares of its forest internationally certified as being sustainably managed - far more than in any other country in the world.

"Wood is a renewable resource. It is strong, beautiful, and versatile. I congratulate all the architects, engineers and builders who are demonstrating to the world the potential of building with Canadian wood."

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